My Renault 5s (various models, 1.1, 1.7 and a couple of GT Turbos mainly) had the plastic filters in the engine bay before the cam driven fuel pump, apart from the GT Turbos which have electric pumps and metal cannister filters inconveniently located under the car in front of the fuel tank. And one of my GT Turbos was low enough that knocking the filter off on a speed bump was a very realistic possibility
Obviously on diesel cars the fuel filter is something you change regularly, and it's usually located prominently in the engine bay. My 1991 Mitsubishi Pajero had a heated fuel filter to prevent problems with fuel thickening at temperatures below -20C. Not that I really needed that much in the UK!