WHEELS AND HEELS With Ann Harvey: How to survive the NCT
The majority of people will go through the NCT System at least once in their lives. This year so far, more than 488,559 cars have failed the National Car Test. Here’s a helpful guide on preparing your car and how to survive the NCT.
• MY FIRST TIP IS MOST IMPORTANT – KNOW YOUR DATES Since 2014, driving without a valid NCT certificate means a fine of up to €90 and three penalty points! If your car is over three years old an NCT test is required every two years and if your car is older than 10 years your car must endure this test annually. The National Car Testing Centres will not send a reminder, it is up to you to book it yourself. So if you’re unsure when or if your car is due an NCT, check.
• CLEAN YOUR CAR A tidy car makes it easier and quicker to check areas that need to be tested. Empty the boot and glove compartment. Make sure not to leave anything valuable in the car.
• CHECK YOUR LIGHTS This can be done by getting family or friends to stand behind your car while you press on the brake pedals and indicators. Do this in advance of your test as replacing bulbs in newer cars is more difficult and may require a mechanic.
• CHECK YOUR TYRES It is an offence to drive on worn or defective tyres and if caught, you will be fined €80 and given two penalty points. Avoid this by checking your tyres for any damage. Also check the tread depth to see if they are okay. Have a mechanic look at them if you have any doubts.
• CHECK YOUR FLUIDS Make sure your oil, engine coolant, brake fluid and windscreen wash levels are all at correct levels. Most of these are clearly labelled under the bonnet, so it’s easy to check yourself.
• PAPERWORK The cost of a full NCT test is €55. A retest is €28. Cash, debit and credit cards are all accepted. Ensure you have all the correct documentation relating to your car. If you don’t have the vehicle registration book, registration or licensing cert with you, your car won’t be tested. You will also need personal ID, just in case.
Finally, arrive in plenty of time before your test, you don’t want to miss your slot and have to rebook for another day!
Celeb Spotting –
Here’s Munster out-half Tyler Bleyendaal collecting his brand new Renault Kadjar.
CAR OF THE MONTH – Dacia Duster
With rugged looks and an adventurous character, the Dacia Duster proves that good taste doesn’t need to be expensive. The common assumption is that if you’re looking to buy an SUV you’ll have to spend more money than if you were buying a saloon or estate car. This is definitely not the case with the Dacia Duster – range prices start as low as just €16,690, making the Duster by far the cheapest SUV you can buy and a perfect first car.
The Duster has what many hatchbacks do not, high ground clearance and real off-road capability, while still boasting comfortable seats and plenty of interior storage. The safety features include strong body work, airbags, and an anti-skid Electronic Stability Control system. The Dacia Duster also uses mostly Renault parts so reliability and durability are not an issue. While the interior is slightly more basic than usual, the Dacia Duster Signature boasts a standard spec that includes air conditioning, cruise control, on-board computer, 16” alloy wheels and a leather steering wheel.
With the price point for a Dacia Duster Alternative set as low as €17,390 you can pay just €64 a week and drive a brand new car! Putting it simply: it’s an affordable, spacious car, comfortable ride and great value for money. You can’t really go wrong.