Alongside Citroen’s Nemo and the Fiat Fiorino, Peugeot’s Bipper slotted into a compact van sector between car-derived and light vans. So what’s it like as a used buy? Steve Banner finds out.
The Peugeot Bipper first went on sale in the UK in 2008. Virtually identical in its basic design to Citroen’s Nemo and Fiat’s Fiorino – all three are the fruits of a joint venture between Peugeot and Citroen’s parent PSA and Fiat – it came with an easy-to-access 2.5m3 load box and a maximum payload capacity of 610kg, and slotted neatly between hatchback car-derived vans such as Ford’s Fiesta Van and larger models such as the Peugeot Partner, itself then a relative newcomer to the market.
Power came courtesy of a 70hp 1.4-litre diesel engine married to a five-speed manual gearbox, with a 75hp 1.4-litre petrol lump marketed as an alternative. An automated 2-tronic manual box was offered as an option on the diesel.
Some changes occurred in 2011, with the 1.4 diesel exchanged for the seemingly ubiquitous 75hp 1.3-litre Multijet from Fiat, which was already employed in the Fiorino.
If you are contemplating acquiring a used Bipper, the first thing you should do is go through the accompanying paperwork, and the service history in particular. Make sure that the cam-belt service has been carried out advises Used Van Expert, which is the first port of call for information if you are contemplating buying a second-hand van.
The company says the service should be completed before 75,000 miles have elapsed on diesel Bippers and before 60,000 miles on the rarer petrol models. If these mileages have been exceeded and the necessary work not done then there is a high chance of engine damage occurring soon advises Used Van Expert, so you should get the asking price reduced by £700.
Turn the ignition on and check that all the warning lights illuminate, then go out again once the engine is running. Keep an eye on the airbag warning light in particular. If it fails to extinguish then the trouble could simply be a faulty connection. On the other hand, it may mean the entire airbag unit has to be replaced. Ask the vendor to get the problem diagnosed by a qualified technician and show you the results. The asking price for the van should be reduced in line with whatever the diagnosis reveals.
Open the bonnet and look for a pink, furry deposit just behind the radiator and check the level of coolant in the reservoir at the same time. Watch out, too, for any evidence that the van is running hot during your test drive. Pink fur, low coolant and hot running are all indications that the water pump is about to expire. If that is the case then it needs swapping, and if the Bipper has clocked up more than 40,000 miles then the timing belt service should be carried out at the same time says Used Van Expert, which advises pushing for a £450 price reduction.
While on the road, listen for a rumbling, grinding noise from the rear suspension. It could mean the rear wheel bearings are on their way out, which is worth a £150 discount.
For Bippers fitted with 2-tronic automatic, pay careful attention to the smoothness and speed of the gear-change. Any problems could mean that the actuator is faulty, which leads to a £700 bill.
If sampling a 1.3-litre diesel you should check for loss of power, a whistling or grinding sound from beneath the bonnet when the engine is under power, and black exhaust smoke. They are all indications of a blown turbo seal, and remember it will cost around £800 to have the turbo replaced if it fails completely.
Some of these problems may, of course, be covered by the warranty depending on the van's age. It is, however, up to the vendor to sort this out before any sale is agreed.
What is second-hand Bipper worth? Seemingly not a lot. Auctioneer Manheim recently disposed of a 2008 1.4 diesel in S trim on an 08-plate for £2825. It had covered 72,218 miles. A model from the same year and in the same trim, but on a 58-plate, which had clocked up 36,252 miles, went for £3275.
A 2009-registered 1.4 diesel built to Professional specifications and on a 09-plate with 29,656 miles to its credit was knocked down for £4550. Moving to the 1.3 diesel, a low-mileage example – just 453 miles recorded – dating back to 2011 and on an 11-plate and in SE trim was sold for £6250.
• Visit www.UsedVanExpert.co.uk for further advice and information