Exeter's play-off hopes faded as Tranmere deservedly took the three points they needed to ensure safety in a thumping 4-0 win.
City could have few complaints as a five-match winning run came to an end.
Tranmere made much of the running and visiting goalkeeper Artur Krysiak did well to turn an Andy Robinson shot against the bar after 12 minutes.
City gave warning when Jamie Cureton put an angled shot just wide but it was the home side who continued to threaten.
It was no surprise when Tranmere took the lead in the 44th minute. Michael Kay beat Krysiak with a superb left foot strike from fully 25 yards.
Exeter could make little headway and Tranmere doubled their advantage in the 67th minute with a delightful lob by Lucas Akins over Krysiak.
It became 3-0 five minutes later with Enoch Showunmi converting a pass from Steve Jennings.
City had no answer and Akins made it 4-0 with a 90th minute header from a cross by substitute Adam McGurk.
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