According to airport and rental car executives, rental cars are getting harder to find on some weekdays at Tulsa International Airport in Oklahoma and throughout the nation, reports Tulsa World.
In response to the recession and decreasing airline passenger traffic, rental car companies have reduced their fleets during the past year, company executives said.
Tulsa-based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., the parent of Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental, operated an average of 104,648 vehicles during the first six months of the year, a 12.9 percent decrease compared with the same period a year ago, according to company documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Dollar Thrifty President and CEO Scott L. Thompson says rental companies must run higher utilization for their fleet due to increased interest cost that lenders have passed on to the rental industry, and he predicts the tight rental availability will continue for some time.
All of the rental car operators at the airport—Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty—were out of rental cars on Wednesday of last week. The supply problem is more prominent on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
In August, there was a 9.8 percent decrease in Tulsa commercial airport traffic compared to August 2008, prompting rental companies to cut back on supply.
Car rental executives recommend customers book far in advance to ensure that a vehicle is available, according to Tulsa World.