Guide to Preparing For Your NCT

October 7th, 2017Our Blog

In accordance with official figures produced by the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) 53% of vehicles tested failed their NCT in 2013, but 90% of them later went onto pass the retest. In many cases this can be avoided by checking your car carefully before your test.

An NCT test can be quiet expensive – €55 for a full test and €28 for a retest – it can end up being quiet expensive to have the tester point out something that could have been avoided!

At we have decided to put together a short list of tips that will help you to prepare your car for the NCT. Please note that these alone will not make your car pass. There may be other mechanical issues that a mechanic will need to sort out.

1 – Clean The Car Inside And Out

If your car is clean going for the NCT it will show the tester that you take pride in your car and try to look after it. It’s important to make sure all the windows, mirrors, lights and registration plate are undamaged and clear. If you also clean the car underneath it will show the tester you look after your car. It will also make it easier for the tester to examine the underneath of the car.

2 – Remove Unnecessary Belongings

Ensure the car and boot are empty of any personal belongings. These may get in the way of the tester. Examples include furry dice, car matts and child seats. If a child seat is left in the car the tester is required to make sure that they are fitted correctly. If not fitted correctly you can fail the test.

3 – Check Your Lights

This may require a trip to the garage but it is also a very important factor. There is no excuse if you turn up to the NCT centre with a blown bulb. Even though it is something so simple it was very common reason for failed tests. When your car is running check all lights including, indicator bulbs, parking lights front and back, dipped and main beam headlights, lighting on registration plate, brake lights and fog lights.

4 – Top up Fluids

Another important factor before an NCT test is to check all fluids are topped up, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windscreen wash. Often these are clearly labelled under the bonnet and easy to top up. These are simple to do and can be done yourself without have to go to a mechanic.

5 – Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

When the engine is running check to see if there are any warning lights in the dashboard. If there are you will need to bring your car to a mechanic. Ignoring these can result in your car failing the NCT. If there is a clicking or knocking noise from the suspension or the car is pulling at one side you will need to get these issues looked at. Issues with the front suspension have been one of the main failure points over the last few years.

6 – Inspect Your Tyres

It is essential that your tyres are in good condition not just for the test but for general road safety. Tyre condition is one of the most common reasons a car fails. Check the tyre pressure and ensure that they are within specification. Inspect all tyres visually for any bulging or damage. Finally, measure the tread depth.

7 – Final Car Checks

The NCTS require your wheel to be visible, so remove hubcaps before bringing your car for the test if applicable. Check your wiper blades and replace if necessary. Bring your car for a drive beforehand to make sure the engine id up to operating temperature. Arrive on time for your test.

8 – The paperwork

It is important to bring all the car’s documentation with you on the day of the test. If you haven’t paid online, bring a means of payment. NCTS centres accept cash, debit cards and most credit cards.

Finally, it is necessary to bring personal identification. Your NCT certificate will not be issued unless the individual presenting the car had id. A driving licence or passport is required. Please note that you do not have to be the registered owner of the vehicle to present the car for the NCT.

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