Car hire companies in the Balearics are getting the jitters about the summer season. Yesterday the association of Balearic car rental companies (AEVAB) reported a significant drop in the number of reservations for the summer season and the association's vice president, Andreu Artigues, said the main reasons are the problems the hotel sector is suffering. The association represents 220 companies across the region which put some 40.000 vehicles on the road each year, 25.000 in Majorca alone. “What is obvious, from what our main clients the hoteliers are telling us, is that this year there will be far less hire cars on the roads,” Artigues said. He also said that because of the general sense of uncertainty in the tourism market, a large number of hire car companies have decided against modernising their fleets and investing in new cars. What is more, because of the down turn in holiday bookings, car hire prices are going to be practically frozen at last year's rates. “We just hope that the situation picks up over the next few months,” Artigues said. The car hire sector had a nervous start to last summer as well and a number of the smaller private outfits went out of business. The current president of the association, Manuel Jiménez, it was also announced yesterday, will not be standing for re-election. After eight years in the post, he is to take over as president of the national association and needs more time for his new role as president of the association for the Balearics, Canary Islands and Andalucia.

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