The first thing to say about a high mileage Prius, in fact any super high mileage car, is don’t expect the dealership selling it to put a lot of emphasis on hours of operation. , smart premises and a welcoming cup of coffee. Big mile profits do not encourage such practices.

Although I was at his Portakabin at 10am sharp and stayed for 30 minutes, I saw no sign of the dealer.

I did, however, see his remaining Prius: a 2004 1.5T Spirit with 168,000 miles, priced at £3,995. This raised alarm bells, confirmed when, checking its MOT history, I saw that at some point between 2011 and 2012 it had been “adjusted” from 238,000 to 108,000 miles. This meant that the car had actually driven 300,000 miles.

It seemed like it was too. Its pale velor interior was darkly dirty, the steering wheel was smooth and shiny, and the column fairing had a light dusting of skin cells and assorted detritus. Elsewhere, the plastic windshield cowl had become brittle and cracked and the alloy wheels were corroding beyond sparing.

I had seen enough and went to see another Prius, a 2014-reg 1.8 T3, with a genuine 230,000 miles on the odometer. With a year of its PHV license still to run, this £9000 example was a rare thing, but sadly neither it nor the dealer was visible.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-28 23:06:24