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How to prepare your vehicle for NCT Test?

How to prepare your vehicle for NCT Test?

What is the NCT Test and What Do the Results Mean?

National Car Test (NCT) is carried out by the National Car Testing Service Ltd (NCTS), Ireland.

It is done to enhance environmental protection and improve road safety. The test pass/fail rates can be checked here: view NCT pass/fail rates.

Your vehicle must always be safe and roadworthy at all times so you're not putting other people's lives at risk. When your NCT in Ireland is due it's a good idea to get it checked with your mechanic. Even without the check if you feel that something is wrong with your car, don't drive!





If your car is 4 years or older, it must take an emissions test. The frequency of the test depends on the age of your car. You must repeat the test after a certain tenure if your car is:

  1. Over 4 years and less than 10 years old: Every 2 years
  2. Over 10 years, but less than 30 years old: Every year.
  3. Between 30 and 39 years old and is not used commercially: Every 2 years.

What documents should I bring for NCT?

The person taking the car to the NCT test centre must bring the car's Vehicle Registration Certificate or Licensing Certificate. For identification purposes, the person must carry their Driving License or Public Services Card (PSC)

How to prepare your vehicle for NCT Test?

  1. Make sure your car has enough oil and water.
  2. Keep the seats clear of personal belongings, empty the boots, and remove the baby seats, and excess luggage.
  3. Devices should be removed from the OBD port.
  4. Keep the vehicle clean.
  5. Inflate the tyres to correct pressure and the wheels' hubcaps are removed.
  6. Make sure your vehicle registration plates obey the regulations.
  7. As per the vehicle manufacturer, the diesel vehicles timing belt should be replaced within the timeframe.
  8. Proper lights have been set and checked.

Go through the NCTS checklist to prepare yourself for the test: checklist of what to check before your NCT

The most common failures that are observed by NCTS are:

  1. Brakes: front, rear and hand brake
  2. Headlights condition and alignment
  3. Steering and suspension
  Also ReadWhat are the Cheapest New Cars in Ireland: 2024

What is the waiting time for NCT results?

Drivers in Cork are being forced to wait up to six months for an appointment because the current backlog dwarfs pre-pandemic figures. If someone hopes to book a test in Little Island, they will need to wait until July 7. Someone hoping to book a test in Blarney would need to wait until July 4.

You can get your test done sooner if you take a day trip to visit our westerly neighbours and knock about a month off the wait time. The NCT centre in Tralee has slots available from June 4.

Driving test centres in Cork are providing excellent results with over a quarter of tests taken being passed. The Blarney centre passed 59.2% of motorists and the facility in Little Island passed 58.8%. Nationally, it's the average pass rate at about 54%.





How to find an NCT appointment on a close-by date?

  1. Keep an eye on the cancellations, if you are lucky you can find a cancelled appointment.
  2. Usually, empty slots are released at and around 11.30 PM. Visit ncts.ie and check if there are any closeby dates.
  3. Call the NCT test centre and ask them for a closeby appointment.
  4. Spend some time checking alternative test centres that are a short drive away.

What are the consequences of not having NCT?

Gardai have said previously that leniency will be shown to motorists who are currently awaiting their test. However, last year, a woman in Cork was fined and penalised for not having an NCT and received a fine of eighty euros and three penalty points, three days before her test was due to take place.

The driver may be prosecuted if they do not have a valid NCT certificate and their vehicle could be seized.

If you have purchased an imported car you must book an appointment with the NCTS within 7 days of your car's arrival in Ireland. Contact NCTS customer service and they will help you with the further steps in securing the certificate.

Phone: 014135994 (Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm) E-mail: [email protected]  

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay