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Preparing your car for NCT 

Published 28th June 2022Read Time 6 min

Preparing your car for the National Car Testing (NCT) Service can sometimes be a daunting experience. Whether it’s your first time or not, one thing is for sure, you do not want to fail.

Fear not though, we have some sound advice for those who are undertaking the test. Here is our ultimate checklist for preparing your car for the NCT.

How much is the NCT?

The NCT costs €55 (plus any cancellation fee if applicable). You can pay by cash, laser card and all major credit cards (excluding American Express).

How do I make an NCT appointment?

If your car is eligible for the NCT, then you can phone 014135992 or you can go online. You will need a credit/debit card, your car registration number and Booking I.D (only required if you are cancelling or rearranging an appointment) or date of first registration of the vehicle.

Where can I get my vehicle tested?

There are 49 NCT centres located throughout Ireland. See here for more.

What documents do I need to have for the NCT test?

You will need to bring identification (driving license) with you on the day of the test. Failure to provide this will mean your vehicle will not be issued an NCT certificate. You will also need your Vehicle Registration Book, Registration Certificate or Licensing Certificate when you arrive at the test centre. 

What do I need to do to prepare? 

  • Clean your vehicle thoroughly (inside and out, including the underbody) and clear out any personal belongings, including emptying the boot. 
  • Ensure your vehicle’s tyres are at the correct pressure and remove the wheel hubcaps (only when wheel nuts are not visible). The tread depth should not be less than 1.6 mm.
  • Make sure the vehicle’s engine is in a fit state to be tested and ensure the vehicle is topped up with oil,  engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windscreen wash.
  • Check the seat belts and clips and make sure they are fully visible.
  • Ensure the vehicle’s lights are checked and in working order. This includes indicator lights, dipped and high-beam headlights, front and rear parking lights, light over the number plate, fog lights and brake lights.
  • When you arrive at the centre, make sure your vehicle is at a normal operating temperature.
  • Your registration plates will need to comply with current regulations.

What happens if I fail the NCT?

So now for the bad news, what if you fail the NCT? Well, you will need to take a re-rest, which must be booked within 21 days of the initial test. Re-tests which do not require the use of a test lane, will be free of charge. Re-tests must be completed within 30 days of the initial test or a full test will need to be repeated and charged.


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