Passing your National Car Test

Published on 5 January 2014

The introduction of the National Car Test (National Car Test (NCT) in 2000 has led to safer, more reliable cars on roads throughout Ireland. The National Car Test (NCT) has helped reduce air and noise pollution, and has offered drivers the opportunity to obtain lower car insurance quotes.

Perhaps most importantly, the test has helped improve the road-worthiness of vehicles on our roads, as it aims to identify defects in cars such as faulty brakes and suspension.

All cars over four years must undergo a National Car Test (NCT), and cars between 4 and 10 years old will then take the test every two years. For vehicles over 10 years old, annual testing is a legal requirement.

According to the National Car Testing Service, the cost of a full test is €55. A re-test, where test equipment must be used to check the vehicle will cost €28. Re-tests not requiring the use of test equipment are free.

Before going for your National Car Test (NCT), it might be worth your while to have your car checked by an experienced professional, as it could save you the cost of a re-test. You should check that your car has enough oil and water, that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and that your engine is in "a fit state to be tested". That means that parts such as your timing belt and cam belt are in working order. In addition, your lights should be checked and set before going for the test.

There are a number of practical steps you should carry out before going for the test. Make sure your car is clean, including under the body of it. Make sure your boot and seats are empty and clear of your belongings. If you leave a baby seat in, this will be checked. Seat belts and their clips should also be visible, and your registration plates should comply with any regulations.

Before you go, also makes sure you bring identification with you (either your driver licence or passport), as well as your vehicle registration certificate.