National Car Test (RSA)
Modified Vehicles (RSA)
Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness reform (RSA)
Trailer Road Traffic Regulations (RSA)
|National Car Test (RSA)
What is the NCT?
Introduced in 2000, the National Car Test (NCT) is a preventative road safety measure that ensures vehicles, particularly older vehicles, using Irish roads are in sound working order.
All member states of the European Union are required to test the roadworthiness of motor vehicles. In Ireland, the testing system is run by the National Car Testing Service (NCTS). A total of 1,170,899 cars were tested by NCTS in 2013 and 48.1% passed the test first time.
An NCT certificate confirms that the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition at the time the test was conducted and the expiry date on the certificate indicates the last date before the next test is due for the vehicle. Further information on the duration of an NCT certificate can be found in our information note (PDF).The owner has the statutory duty to ensure that his/her vehicle remains in a satisfactory roadworthiness condition and complies with the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 1963-2006 at all times when it is used in a public place.
Booking an NCT
There are 47 NCT test centres located throughout Ireland established solely for the purposes of car testing. Find the centre that is most convenient to you.
From July 28, 2014, car owners and members of the motor trade will be able to book an NCT test at any point prior to their next mandatory test. Previously, NCT tests could only be booked within 90 days of a vehicle’s test due date or 180 days in the case of a first NCT. From 28 July 2014, any test undertaken more than 90 days in advance of the test due date will be a voluntary early test and the test due date will be reset to the one or two year anniversary of the successful test (depending on the age of the vehicle).
When your car is due to be tested, you must book with the NCTS: they will then send you an SMS, email or letter with details of your test appointment.
You may book your NCT by any if the following methods
Phone: 01 4135992 from 8am to 8pm (Mon-Thurs) and 8am to 6pm (Fri)
Fax bookings: (01) 413-5982 (please remember to quote your booking ID and telephone number, if available).
The Booking Department, National Car Testing Service Ltd, Citywest Business Campus, Lake Drive 3026, Naas Road, Dublin 24
If writing, please remember to quote your booking ID and telephone number, if available.
The car test fee is €55 (inclusive of VAT). NCTS will accept cash, debit cards and all major credit cards (excluding American Express).
The fee for a re test is €28 if the use of a test lane is required. A re-test that doesn’t require the use of a test lane or requires the use of test equipment for the purposes of carrying out an inspection of tyres only is free of charge.
Note: If you wish to cancel or rearrange a test you must give the NCTS five working days’ notice (not including the day of the test). If you give less notice than this a €22 surcharge (€11.50 in the case of a retest) will beapplied. From July 28, 2014 customers who repeatedly fail to present their vehicle for testing, without giving the required notice, will be presented with a €22 surcharge (€11.50 for a re-test) on each occasion that an appointment is missed.
Any queries relating to the cancellation fee may be made in writing to the Customer Service Department, National Car Testing Service, Lake Drive 3026, Citywest Business Campus, Naas Road, Dublin 24.
What the test examines
During the NCT, specific items are checked and tested. These include:
You can view a full list of the items which are covered in the National Car Test in the newly revised National Car Test (NCT) Manual 2014 (PDF).
Note: the tests undertaken by the NCT evolve over time as industry safety technologies improve and new safety concerns arise. A number of new test items were introduced in April 2010, January 2012 and July 2014.
Benefits of testing
Pass rates & Statistics
When testing was first introduced, less than 4% of vehicles passed at the first attempt compared to over 76% in 2012 for cars that are four years old. This figure falls to around 50% for eight-year-old cars and 40% for vehicles of nine years old. View the full report of NCT results for 2007 to 2013 (PDF)
Main Fail Items
The top five fail items in 2013 are as follows:
Where a vehicle has a dangerous defect i.e. a defect that constitutes a direct and immediate risk to road safety such that the vehicle should not be used on the road under any circumstances, the NCT vehicle inspector will issue a Failed Dangerous result.
It is an offence to drive a dangerously defective vehicle on the public road. The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to €2,500 and 5 penalty points on conviction and/or 3 months imprisonment, (Offence under Section 54 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 and related amendments).
When the result is Failed Dangerous the NCT vehicle inspector will advise you as follows:
All re-tests must be booked within 21 days of the initial test. The fee for a re-test is €28 if the use of a test lane is required. A re-test that doesn’t require the use of a test lane or requires the use of test equipment for the purposes of carrying out an inspection of tyres only is free of charge, e.g. where minor visual items are concerned, such as replacement of windscreen wiper and registration plates.
Re-tests must be completed within 30 days of the initial test or a full test will need to be repeated and charged accordingly.
From July 28, 2014, customers who fail to present their vehicle for a retest appointment, without giving prior notice, will be issued with an €11.50 cancellation fee on each occasion that a retest is missed. Previously, a single €11.50 cancellation fee for a retest was applied if one or more tests were missed. Owners who repeatedly book and then fail to show up to tests, without giving prior notice, prevent others from booking tests at times that are convenient to them.
New NCT Regulations
Legislation governing the mandatory testing of cars has been consolidated into The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2014, S.I. 322 of 2014 (PDF).
Previous regulations; specifically, The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2009 (S. I. No. 567 of 2009), and various amendments in SIs 623/2011, 711/2011, 103/2012, 104/2012, 10/2013 and 303/2013 have been revoked.
|Modified Vehicles (RSA)
|Vehicles can be modified for various reasons – some vehicles are modified even before they are registered. For example, someone can convert a four-wheel drive passenger vehicle into a commercial vehicle by removing the back seats and safety belts. Work on a vehicle which affects the safety and/or handling of a vehicle e.g. brakes, steering, suspension etc. must be to a minimum standard and comply with the law.
Other modifications are cosmetic – to personalise a car and make it different to others of its type. Common ones include rear spoilers and side trim, adapted exhausts and tinted windows.
Section 62 of the NCT Manual 2014 (PDF) deals with vehicle modifications . This provides more guidance on the modifications which require a modifications report. The format of the modifications report is available here.
For more information on vehicle modifications, please see our Registration and Motor Tax webpage or alternatively the vehicle conversion section of Revenue Commissioner’s website or the Motor Tax RF111 Change of Particulars Form (PDF).
Excessively tinted windscreens or front side windows present a significant safety hazard for vehicle drivers and their occupants. Visibility is greatly reduced, particularly for night time driving and at times of low light. There are also enforcement issues for An Garda Síochána in regard to driver recognition, the detection of driving offences e.g. holding a mobile phone while driving, and other criminal activity.
If the NCT vehicle inspector deems that the windscreen or front side windows are excessively tinted the level of light transmission of the window will be tested. 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 NCT test. Tinting of these windows must not be greater than 35%.Unfortunately the National Car Testing Regulations do not allow for any exemptions in this regard.
Tint films tend to be quite easily removed and replaceable with a compliant film which would block UVA light and meet the requirement of not less than 65% light transmission. There is no limit on the tint level in the rear window and rear side windows.
Vehicle Exhaust Noise
Vehicles are required to have a level of noise no greater than 99dB(A) in order to pass the test to ensure that vehicles comply with acceptable noise levels. An Garda Síochána currently use sound measurement equipment at roadside enforcement checkpoints throughout the country. The penalty on conviction is a fine which, depending if there have been previous similar convictions, may not exceed €2,000 and/or, at the discretion of the court, imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months.
Enforcement of Road Traffic legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána.
Customers should also ensure that their vehicle registration documents match the vehicle as this will be checked against the vehicle file.
|Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness reform (RSA)
|The RSA is now responsible for the overall supervision of the Commercial vehicle roadworthiness testing system. This is part of the overall implementation of the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CVR) reform program.
For all information relating to Commercial Vehicle Testing please go to www.cvrt.ie
Existing Testers seeking to renew their authorisation, please visit the Authorisation of CVR Testers page.
|Trailer Road Traffic Regulations (RSA)
|Trailer Road Traffic Regulations
All trailers must meet with Irish Road Traffic Regulations when in use in a public place. These regulations set out the law in relation to weights, lights, brakes, plating, under-run, side-guards, securing of loads, etc.
There are three main legal instruments regulating trailers in Ireland currently:
These regulations have been substantially amended since drafting and copies of the original instruments, along with detailed lists of amendments to date are available on our standards for vehicles and trailers in use section.
If you’re operating a trailer, make sure you understand your in-use requirements.
Furthermore, individuals engaged in the supply of trailers also have a legal responsibility to ensure that trailers and their components comply with all applicable requirements set out in Road Traffic legislation.
Trailer Type Approval – from 29th October 2012
There are also new national schemes to approve trailers: both those manufactured in low volume in Ireland, and for trailers manufactured or imported individually. The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is the Irish appointed approval authority and is responsible for issuing National Approvals for trailers in Ireland. NSAI has established a network of Appointed Test Centre’s (ATC’s) who physically examine and issue test reports for some or all of the technical requirements. These test reports are then used by NSAI to grant the trailer approvals.
Information Notes have been prepared for light trailers and heavy trailers in order to provide further clarification on the system of type approval applicable to these vehicles from the 29th of October 2012 onwards.
However, irrespective of type approval or national approval requirements, once trailers are in use on the public road, they must meet the requirements laid out in the ‘C&U’ ‘CE&U’, and ‘Lighting Regulations’ outlined above