Driving in Ireland: The National Car Test
Pass The NCT First Time Round
Author: Peter McCormack
The National Car Test (NCT) was a European Union directive introduced to Ireland in January 2000. The NCT is compulsory and is carried out every two years on each vehicle in Ireland. The purpose of the NCT is to ensure higher levels of vehicle road safety and as and environmental protection measure. There are 43 custom built NCT centres in Ireland and the service is fast and efficient.
The NCT can be booked on-line at www.nct.ie or by telephone. Each car owner will be issued a date and time to bring their vehicle to the local NCT test centre. Bookings can be cancelled with advance warning without loss of booking payment if cancellation is within a fixed time frame (be sure to see the NCT website mentioned above to check circumstances for cancellation!).
Preparation for The NCT
Ensure your vehicle is clean, particularly the under body of the car as the mechanic needs to inspect this carefully and they must be able to see clearly.
Check your engine oil level making sure it is at the recommended level.
Clear any unnecessary belongings out of the vehicle including the boot.
Make sure your tyres are in good condition and at the correct pressure. Don’t forget the spare tyre as this will also be inspected. Items Tested during the NCT include:
- Exhaust emissions
- Wheels and tyres
- Steering and suspension
- Chassis and under body
- Electrical systems
- Glass and mirrors
- Fuel system
Service Car In Advance Of NCT?
Many vehicle owners have their car serviced in advance of the NCT. Although this does not guarantee that the vehicle will pass the NCT it may improve it’s chances.
Another train of thought is to not service the car specially for the NCT; if it fails you will have a specific list of faults with the vehicle that can then be presented to a mechanic to fix. When the vehicle is retested for the NCT only the faults on the original list will be inspected. If your mechanic has done his work properly the vehicle will be granted it’s two year NCT pass.
*Important Note: If you think your vehicle is not road worthy or my cause danger on the road you should have it serviced immediately, do not wait for your NCT appointment before having it serviced.
Vehicles that are serviced regularly will be safer to drive, kinder to the environment and have a better chance of passing the NCT first time round.