The NCT is part of having a car in Ireland and essential to show your car is roadworthy. Avoiding or delaying your car’s NCT could result in penalty points and fines so don’t be tempted to put it on the long finger.
11 steps to do before NCT Test
1. Clean your car
It’s important to clean your car, inside and out, prior to your NCT, paying particular attention to the mirrors, windows, lights and registration plates. If your car is dirty it will be more difficult to inspect, and the test inspector might refuse to outright to test it. Don’t forget to clean the underbody of the car with a brush as this area will also be examined.
2. Remove belongings
Remove all personal belongings from your car and don’t forget to empty the boot. If there is a child’s car seat in the car, the test inspector is obliged to check that it is installed correctly.
3. Check seat belts
Ensure all seat belts and clips are visible, in good condition and working properly.
4. Top up fluids
Before your test, check that all your fluids are topped up. These include engine coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, windscreen wash and power steering fluid. These are easy to find under the bonnet and are generally labelled. If you have any difficulty consult your manual.
5. Check your lights and indicators
A blown bulb may not seem like a serious problem but it will mean an instant fail at the NCT centre. It’s important to check all your lights and indicators prior to your test. With the help of a friend check all indicator bulbs, parking lights front and rear, lighting of the rear number plate, dipped and high beam headlights, fog lights and also the brake lights.
6. Inspect tyres
Ensure your tyres are in good condition and have the required legal thread depth of 1.6mm. This is vital, not only for the NCT, but also for road safety in general. Remove the wheel hubcaps if necessary.
7. Check wipers
Ensure you rear and front wipers are not worn and are working correctly.
8. Check vehicle registration plates
Your number plates should be securely fastened, clean, and the letters and numbers should be clearly visible. All vehicle registration plates should comply with current regulation.
9. Dashboard warning lights
If a warning light is illuminated on your dashboard while the engine is on, get it checked immediately. It could mean an instant fail at the NCT centre, or worse still your car may not be safe to drive.
10. Documentation and fee
Don’t forget to bring your vehicle registration book, registration certificate, licensing certificate, your personal identification and a method of payment to the NCT centre. If you turn up without them, it’s likely your car will not be tested.
11. Be prepared
Don’t start cleaning and inspecting your car the morning of your NCT. Start inspecting your car the week before the test, so that you have time to get it fixed if you discover an issue. Aim to arrive at the test centre in plenty of time, if you are late you could miss your slot and you’ll have to pay for a re-test.
How Much Does the NCT Cost?
The cost of a full car test is €55. If you fail the test, you will be provided with a list of everything that your car failed on. You then have 21 days to repeat your car test. If you’re re-test only requires a visual inspection e.g. wheel nuts, it will be free of charge. However if you need to have your car re-tested using mechanics, it will cost €28. Remember that only the parts of car that failed the test will be re-tested. Your car does not receive a full car check during your re-test.
What should I do if I fail my test?
If you fail your NCT don’t panic! Take the NCT report given to you at the test centre and bring it to your mechanic. They will be able to order any parts needed to fix the issues found for your car and book your car in to be fixed. When you know the time frame your car will be fixed you can book in for a re-test.
We understand you may have some questions regarding your NCT Certificate validity and more information on this can be found here.