David Gilroy’s silver Vauxhall Vectra was seen on closed circuit television travelling between Edinburgh and Lochgilphead the day after Ms Pilley disappeared, the High Court in Edinburgh has been told.
Police impounded the vehicle as part of their inquiry and discovered fractures in three of the four coil springs in its suspension, suggesting it might have been driven off road, said vehicle examiner PC Alastair Bain, 51.
He said the condition of the car prevented it being used in a reconstruction, and an identical model was obtained from a member of the public.
PC Bain said three test runs were made to Lochgilphead and on each occasion it took about three hours. On the CCTV footage, Gilroy’s car had taken five hours and eight minutes.
The return journey followed a different route, and had taken the police around three hours and 11 minutes. Gilroy’s car had taken five hours and 29 minutes.
PC Bain said the difference had been significant between Tyndrum and Inveraray.
Gilroy, 49, of Edinburgh, denies murdering Ms Pilley, 38, of Edinburgh, by unknown means on 4 May, 2010, and hiding the body in the premises of Infrastructure Managers Limited, Edinburgh, before transporting it in his car. Her remains have never been found.
The trial continues.