NCT Tips

Compulsory car testing was introduced in Ireland in January 2000 as part of an EU Directive that makes car testing compulsory in all member states. It is an offence to drive a car that is liable for testing without displaying a National Car Testing Service disc and offenders will face fines of up to €1500 as well as penalty points.

The NCTS recommends that you prepare for the test by ensuring that:
  • Your car has adequate oil and water
  • The boot is empty and seats are clear of personal belongs such as removable baby seats
  • The vehicle is reasonably clean (especially the underbody)
  • The wheel hubcaps are removed and the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure
  • Seat belts and clips are fully visible
  • Your vehicle registration plates comply with current regulations
  • The timing belt has been replaced in the case of a diesel vehicle, i.e. within the timeframe specified by the vehicle manufacturer
  • NCT recommend you have your lights checked and set prior to the text.

Main changes to the NCT with effect from April 1st 2010

Clarity of windscreen and front side windows
Excessively tinted windscreens or front side windows present a significant safety hazard for drivers and their occupants. The glass in the windscreen and front side windows will be required to have a light transmission level of not less than 65% in order to pass the test

Vehicle exhaust noise
The nuisance caused by excessive noise from vehicle exhausts is regularly the subject of comments and complaints. Examination of a cars exhaust silencer and its effectiveness at reducing noise is part of the current NCT. It is proposed to implement a noise check of vehicles that the vehicle inspector deems to be excessively noisy.The vehicle will be required to have a level of noise no greater than 99db(A) in order to pass the test.

Rear fog lamp
Rear fog lamps enhance the visibility of a car in foggy conditions by indicating the vehicle’s position and direction of travel to other road users. The rear fog lamp, where fitted, will be checked to ensure that when in use it provides a red light which is clearly visible.

Reverse lamp
The reverse lamp of a vehicle provides illumination to the rear when backing up and warns nearby drivers and pedestrians of a vehicle’s backward motion. The reverse lamp, where fitted, will be checked to ensure that when in use it provides a white light which is clearly visible.

Rear registration plate lamp
Rear registration plate lamps provide essential illumination to the registration plate of a vehicle once parking lights / side lights are activated.If is not in proper working order a “Fail Advisory” will result i.e. It is strongly recommended that the fault be repaired but a failed test will not result because of the fault alone.

Tyres
Car tyres are the only point of contact between a vehicle and the road. The standards to which tyres are designed and built, is critical to ensuring adequate grip is maintained with the road surface. An “E” or “e” mark indicated that the tyre is certified to comply with international regulations. A vehicle will fail if an “E” or “e” mark is not visible.

Malfunction indicator for Airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems and Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) / Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS):

Today’s cars are fitted with a number of warning lamps on a dashboard that let the driver know if certain critical safety, performance and environmental features are not working properly. They are important safety features and it is in the interest of the driver and road safety that all safety systems in the vehicle are in full working order. Vehicles will be checked to ensure that, where fitted, the malfunction indicators for Airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems and Electronic Braking Systems (EBS) Anti-Lock Brake system (ABS) are in correct working order. The vehicle will fail if a malfunction indicator is not working or indicates a defect in the system.

For further information contact the website www.ncts.ie

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