It all started with a 390,000-mile Toyota Prius – a 2011 60-reg 1.8 VVT-h T Spirit, to be precise.
A friend spotted it in the classifieds and reckoned that at £3150 and with 12 months’ AA breakdown cover, it was worth a look. Personally, I reckon he was swayed by the seller’s use of that oldest trick in the book: “First to see will buy.” Still, I made the call, and you know what? “First to see” had done exactly that.
It set me thinking about high-mileage Prii (the plural of Prius, apparently). There are just so many of them. Is it the UK’s most plentiful leggy motor? Very possibly, although there are tons of mileagey Ford Mondeos and Volkswagen Passats, too – unsurprisingly, given their fleet associations. However, it’s the Prius that keeps popping up in the small ads, due in the main to its popularity among private-hire vehicle (PHV) drivers and operators.
My friend’s Prius may have sold overnight, but it took me a second to find another with the same mileage.
Bizarrely, seriously high-mileage Prii like these are more credible purchases than those with around 150,000-200,000 miles. In our previous feature about car clocking, we reported on a 2010 Prius that had done a claimed 180,000 miles.
However, its MOT history showed it had been clocked and a mileage expert we consulted reckoned that in reality it had done 400,000. This knowledge didn’t stop me popping over to the dealer who had sold my friend’s car to see if he had others and what high mileage does to a Prius.