Nippa: Testing times

The mighty Perodua Nippa (née Kancil) has been on the fleet for a full year now and, true to its name, it has become the default choice for nipping about the place. It has covered one long distance trip with Rachel aboard – to Leicestershire and Northamptonshire – but that’s very much a rarity. It explains why it has covered only 2500 miles between tests.

It sounds like it’s barely worth having, but remember that it cost only £300 to buy, does 55mpg and cost £80 (including test) for the MOT last year. I’ve since spent £100 on a full set of winter tyres for it, and gave it a service (the engine takes about 2.5 litres of oil!). This is cheap motoring. Oh. There was one problem. A wiper box seized up and I had to dismantle the mechanism and lube it up.

Still, I was a bit nervous for the MOT, especially as the tester told me only one out of five had passed so far that day. I needn’t have worried though. The only failure point was wiper blades – they had begun to tear very slightly at their edges. So slightly I hadn’t noticed, and I tend to be fussy about wipers!

Nervous times, though only 2500 miles since the previous test.

Nervous times, though only 2500 miles since the previous test.

Including blades, that meant an MOT bill of £66.60. This is still very cheap motoring! Getting the Nippa up on the ramp did allow me to inspect the underside, and I’m going to have to keep an eye on things like the sills. I can see bits of surface rot starting to bite their way in. I need to get a fresh batch of rust converter. Corrosion remains the biggest danger for this car and at this rate, there’s a genuine worry about whether it’ll ever reach 40,000 miles! How utterly ridiculous.

Another thing that is ridiculous is the fuel gauge. It was hovering very slightly above empty at the start of the test, and nudging slightly below empty at times on the way home. Panicking slightly, I went at put 21.5 litres of fuel in – the most I’ve ever managed in this car. Thing is though, online spec checkers suggest it should have a 32 litre tank! So, is the gauge hopeless or are the specs wrong? Not sure I fancy finding out to be honest. It’s still stupidly economical. I think it must definitely go down as one of my better buys, despite how much people laugh at me about it!

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