The dreaded NCT, although it is the thorn in the side of society it serves an important purpose, one which has limited the number of unsafe cars on Irish roads. The NCT test is in place to protect both the driver and other road users in Ireland. How it works is as follows: if you have bought a shiny new car in 2021, that means you don’t have to check in for an NCT for the first three years. After that period you have to get your car tested every 2 years. Finally, once the car is 10 years and older you have to get it tested every year. Below are the figures from the 1st of January to till the 31st of October 2018.
In 2020, the NCT carried out a total of 1,006,981 tests, and 567,269 of these resulted in a fail. The top 5 defects were as follows:
|% OF FAILED TESTS
|6.43% or 95,921 cases
|5.41% or 80,734 cases
|Brake Lines / Hoses
|3.89% or 58,062 cases
|Mechanical Brake Components
|3.40% or 50,768 cases
|3.22% or 47,988 cases
NCT fails can often be classified as standard fails, or dangerous fails on the fail report. "Dangerous fails" are issued to cars who have a serious defect and have incidentally been adjudged to be dangerous to drive during the test. Many of these failed vehicles as listed above have gone on to pass the NCT retest, however, some cars are just too far gone to be road legal again. When you see figures like this above, you have to take a step back and appreciate the value of having a car test, literally keeping the dangerous junk off the road. Here are just some of the main laws associated with driving under the dangerous fail category:
The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to €2000 and 5 penalty points on
conviction and/or 3 months imprisonment. (Offence under Section 54 of the Road
Traffic Act 1961 and related amendments)
That if the owner/presenter drives the vehicle off the premises, the incident may be
reported to An Garda Síochána.
That a sticker to the effect that the vehicle is dangerously defective has been
attached to the vehicle
Let's stray away from the negativity and return to the main purpose of this article, that is, to help you all prepare in the right manner for your cars NCT! First things first, you need to check the most obvious aspect of your vehicle. Check your tyre threads (the number of cars that fail on this is comical). Making sure you’ve topped up your different fluids to the appropriate level, making seat belts to make sure they are working. These are just 3 examples of easy things which drivers can overlook before doing the test. Below is a checklist which we think is worth following.
Lights: Start with your lights and indicators. Having a blown bulb is an automatic fail so it pays to make sure these are all working. Along with your lights check your indicators. It’s easy to know if one of these has blown as the opposite indicator will flash at a higher tempo than normal. It's always worthwhile to have a spare bulb kit in your car just in case one blows. We have several kits that that come with a range of different sizes. You can buy our Philips bulb kit here.
Seat Belts: Making sure all the seat belts work correctly is another easy inspection to do before the test. How many times have you sat into a car and notice the middle seat belt in the back isn’t working. Make sure all belts retract fully when they are pulled towards the buckle.
Wipers: Make sure your wipers are fully operational and are making good contact with the windscreen, removing any water that has built up on the screen. Along with this makes sure your windscreen washers are working properly too. A good way to test if your wipers are in acceptable condition is to spray water through the washers onto the windscreen to see if the wipers will clear the screen properly. We have the best prices on Bosch wiper blades on our site.
Tyres: Mentioned previously, bald tyres are the cause of thousands of NCT fails every year. Its crazy to think that the part of the car that keeps you in contact with the road is one of the highest neglected parts of the car when it comes to the test results. The minimum thread depth in Ireland is 1.6mm, if we are being honest you shouldn’t let your car get close to this especially during the winter time when driving conditions deteriorate. If you want the most accurate reading, you can purchase our digital tyre depth indicator. Not only will they look at thread depth but they will also review the tyre pressure. We stock a digital tyre pressure gauge that will let you can an exact reading off each tyre without having to drive to your local garage.
Oil, Coolant & Other Fluids: Making sure your oil, antifreeze, coolant and brake fluid levels are up to the appropriate levels. This is something that will only take a few minutes to do but can be the difference between passing and failing.
This NCT checklist will help many of you all to prepare for the test, however, there will be a percentage of you all that will need to bring your car to a mechanic or garage to get proper work done. You can’t cut corners when it comes to road safety, you wouldn’t get on a plane that wasn’t in a safe condition so why do you think it’s okay to drive a car that isn't up to standards.
What to bring to NCT centre:
The most important thing to bring is YOUR LOG BOOK & LICENSE
NCT phone number: 01 4135992
NCT online: www.ncts.ie/
If you have your NCT coming up soon and you are looking for certain parts or oils or any other fluids to get your car in tip top condition, simply send us an email at email@example.com and our team will help you to get Car parts for less. We will help you and we'll make sure that you're getting the best price every time!
Until next time,
MicksGarage.com the Car Parts Experts.