Had a strange experience with Europcar in southern Spain a few years ago.
Took a short-notice week-long break early summer on my own as it was a steal, hired a car for the week so as I could get about and view the sites. Turned up at the hire depot in Nerja to see a load of brand new black Grande Punto's lined up, excellent. Nope, I was given the battered up Gold Citroen C3 1.1 tucked round the corner. Had a dent on every panel, well over 50k on the clock but it had A/C and a satnav so suited my needs. The attendant basically told me it was that or nothing as they'd had enough of young British lads trashing their new cars!!
Thrashed the thing for the week I was there (it was gutless!!), went all over the desert, down the coast, Seville, Granada and Gibraltar. Really grew rather fond of it in a bangernomics kind of way!!
Returned it at the end of the week and there was a British lady on the desk. Got chatting to her and it turns out that car was the sacrificial one of the fleet that they expected to come back filthy and covered in yet more dents every time it went out. She had a shock when I showed it her all washed, hoovered and sparkling!! There had been a local lad working at the hotel who would wash the cars for a few euros so got him to give it the once-over as I'd been stung for cleaning charges before! She actually gave me a refund on part of the hire and put a note on my account so as I'd not get the banger on any subsequent rentals.
As I was leaving, some old couple pulled up in one of the new Punto's. It was filthy, had a gouge down the front bumper and was somehow missing he grille badge! Looked back at the lady who just shrugged and rolled her eyes
A year or so later I had to hire a posh car for a wedding (my Fiesta wasn't going to cut it in a car park full of Range Rovers etc) so phoned up Europcar and went through the options with the lady on the phone. Turned out it was the same lady from Nerja who saw the note she'd left and remembered me!! Cue an upgrade from an Audi A3 to an E-Class for nowt
Also found out the C3 had been totalled at the end of the summer, some yoofs decided to go down to the beach in it. Via a 30ft drop off the sea wall