Apparently the flat tire scam is still alive and well in Barcelona (occasionally in Madrid as well). While some people rigorously defended Spain as great travel destination by claiming such stories are all b.s., I don’t see why anybody would deliberately target Spain. Like, I don’t see anybody posting such story vs Portugal, Italy or Greece, for example.
I am planning to travel with my family (with young kids). The last thing I need is to fix a flat tire (imagine how much delay you gonna endure even if you’re in United States), stolen stuff, or scary encounter with criminals (even if nothing would be stolen by having everybody watch the car like a hawk), let alone $$$$ that the rental car company would love to charge (those stories appear to indicate the car rental companies are well aware of this and couldn’t care less).
Would love to hear from you to help me stand corrected? We feel European countries like Austria and Germany are more civilized for family visits.