And some of the most unusual excuses for returning vehicles damaged include: ‘I hit a car crossing the road’ and: ‘A pheasant came out of nowhere and got stuck in the grille’, according to Alamo Rent A Car.
The company claims that as some of the excuses for late or damaged cars are so improbable they must be true – such as the time a driver needed replacement keys after a magpie swooped down and snatched them off the car roof.
Kim Brown, UK marketing director at Alamo Rent A Car, said: ‘We always try to be understanding when cars are returned late and if the car is damaged we have a clear process to manage the claim.
‘But some of the stories we hear make the mind boggle and we have to bear in mind that truth is often stranger than fiction.’
Excuses given for returning the car late include: ‘I was running late for the plane’ and ‘I didn’t realise it had to be back.’
Other unusual items left in cars include false teeth, a black leather whip, a cat in the engine compartment and a false leg.