#AskCarzone Everything you need to know about the NCT
If you’re subject to an annual NCT you’ll know it can be a stressful time, but what can you do to make the process as painless as possible and ensure your car passes?
We caught up with motor expert Ailish from Carzone to find out everything you need to know about an NCT.
If your car is four years or older it needs to be tested. And ff your car is 10 years or older it needs to be tested every year, if it is less than ten years old it only needs to be tested every two years.
Vintage or classic cars which are over 30 years old do not currently need to be tested but that is likely to change soon due to new EU directives. You can do your test up to 90 days before your current NCT certificate is due to expire but your new NCT disk will commence from this date rather than the date the old disk was due to expire.
You can book your test in any NCT test centre that you wish. A list of all NCT centres can be found here on the official NCT website https://www.ncts.ie/1106. If your local NCT test centre is booked out and does not have any availability, you could consider the next nearest centre.
See some of this week’s questions from readers below.
What things most commonly fail, so I can look out for these?
52% of cars that go through the NCT test fail it on the first attempt. There are many different reasons why, but some of the most common fail items include blown headlight and indicator light bulbs, poor headlight condition, poor tyre condition, dashboard warning lights staying on when the car is running, low fluid levels (power steering fluid, engine coolant etc.) and imbalance in the suspension. A good way to prepare to for the test is to bring your car to a local dealership or mechanic who can carry out a series of checks which will be tested during the NCT.
Should I get my car checked before NCT or just wait for their report to tell me what is wrong?
Yes, it is a good idea to get your car checked and serviced before the NCT as It will greatly increase your chances of passing the test. While it’s tempting to use the NCT like a service shopping List as to what need to be fixed, I’d advise you not to go down this route. For safety and re-sale values, it’s really important to service your car regularly and on time. This will save you money in the long term and the NCT won’t be such a daunting task.
Do my tyres effect the NCT?
Yes, it’s really important to check your car’s tyres before the test. Make sure all your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure (you can find this in your car’s ownership manual). Nearly all service stations provide air pumps where you can check the pressure and pump it up. You also need to check the thread level of the tyre and ensure there’s at least 1.6mm of thread across three-quarters of the tyre. If your car has hubcaps, you must also remove them so the wheel nuts are visible for the tester.
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