A live mouse and a hedge trimmer - the secret life of hire cars


Ever picked up a hire car and found anything interesting left in the boot? Or maybe you've left something of value in one before? Well, you're not alone.

Europcar hire out thousands of vehicles every day and have revealed some of the weird and wonderful things people have forgotten to take with them.

Unsurprisingly, sunglasses, CDs and loose change are often forgotten about when vehicles are returned but some customers seemingly carry some more eyebrow-raising items with them.

Employees at Europcar's Belfast City Airport branch even found an urn full of ashes. The deceased's daughter had traveled from South Africa to scatter the ashes at her mother's birthplace, but left them in the car. She was later relieved to get them back.

Other intriguing items in the lost property bin included a caged live mouse, a hedge trimmer, two large oil paintings and 30 plants.

The most amusing forgotten possession was a life-size dummy, dressed as an old lady and left in the boot of a Ford Focus at Europcar's Blackpool Station office. The firm's employee had the shock of his life – he thought it was a dead body.

"Judging from our lost property, our vehicles have a tale to tell," said Ken McCall, managing director of Europcar. "But our staff always go out of their way to reunite our customers with their forgotten items, no matter how bizarre."