Prius test drive – a reversal of fortunes

Things went from busy to busier last week, so I had to stay in the office while Tamsin, Charlie, and Rachel all enjoyed some time behind the wheel of our Prius. But soon enough a free evening came along, and I took the keys and headed to our underground car park ready to give the car a proper drive around the local roads.

Things don’t always work out the way you plan them, however, and as I inched backwards out of the parking space, I was about to make a pretty embarrassing mistake. Not yet familiar with the car or the layout of the car park, and not yet brave enough to trust the rear-view camera, I managed to start turning before I’d cleared the second of two steel pillars bracketing the parking space.

Oh dear.

Prius damage

The result, as you can see, was a dented rear wing, scraped bumper and cracked rear light cluster, and the ending – in a painfully public manner – of a 19-year run of incident-free driving.

Yes, I do feel pretty stupid now. I’d like to blame the mishap on my stressy week, and the stupid positioning of the car park’s pillars, but if I’m honest it was entirely my fault. And I feel sorry for the Prius. Had I looked at its rear view camera I’m sure I would have seen what I was about to do.

But it turns out that accidents do happen. And that scrapes are more embarrassing when even the car sees them coming.


  1. One of the things about the Prius that worries me is the view out of the back window with the bar across. Did that increase the possibility of not seeing such obstacles as the car park pillar?
    Does the new Prius have better rear visibility? No one else seems to even mention this limitation.

  2. We have Prius and are delighted with it. I noticed a comment from Trevor Irwin (in “Recall News” that, when the new braking software was loaded, they had also “got rid of the silly reversing bleep”. My Prius, which we have had from new in November 2008 doesn’t need any upgrades BUT the reversing beep is a constant irritant. Can I get it switched off?

    Better still, could it be diverted to some sort of external bleep instead? The cars are so quiet that I’ve several times caused pedestrians a somewhat heartstopping moment when I start to move backwards (having ascertained there’s no-one behind me) out of a parking bay.

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