Europcar rents thousands of vehicles out a day so expects the occasional late return or damaged vehicle. But a recent survey of its branches revealed some of the strangest reasons for damage to cars or late returns.

The Liverpool branch had a shock recently when a customer returned a vehicle with damage to one of the wheel arches. On questioning it turned out a cow had escaped from a nearby field, with the farmer in hot pursuit!

A car with a large dent across the bonnet was returned to the Newcastle branch recently with a horse as the culprit. The driver watched in horror as a horse, with rider in tow, slowly backed onto the car, until it was sitting on the bonnet as a car on the opposite side passed on a narrow country lane!

On a wilder note, the Newport branch spotted a large chunk missing from the back bumper of a Ford Focus. The customer explained they had visited Longleat Safari Park and driven through the lion’s enclosure where a lion had taken off a part of the bumper with his claws.

If that wasn’t a bizarre enough explanation, Europcar’s staff were even more astounded to hear that a family’s pot-bellied pig had taken a shining to the rental car keys and had taken them outside to her water bowl. 

Who would try and retrieve the keys from a wild pig? A brave youth who then promptly nicked the car.

What a great society we live in.

Jackie Violet - Female First