There are a number of changes taking place to the NCT from 20th May 2023
1. OBFCM Data
In an effort to prevent Europe’s real-world emissions gap from growing, Ireland will commence the collection of On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring (OBFCM) data as part of the National Car Test (NCT) from May 2023. The data collected will be shared with the European Commission (EC).
This is in accordance with EU Regulation 2021/392 where fuel and energy consumption data will be collected to ensure that the vehicle CO2 emissions and fuel or energy consumption values are pursuant to EU Regulations. The implementation of this regulation will ensure greater transparency for consumers.
Ireland will align with other European countries by implementing this new standardised approach of testing from May 2023 on all vehicles registered from January 2021. The ultimate aim of this regulation is to help contribute to reducing harmful emissions not just on Irish roads but also across the EU member states.
What data will be collected:
In accordance with (EU)2021/392, the following data will be collected by the NCT:
- Manufacturer name
- Year the vehicle was registered
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Total quantity of fuel and/or electric energy consumed
- Total mileage/distance travelled
Additional data fields for off- vehicle charging hybrid electric vehicles may include:
- Distance travelled (lifetime) in charge depleting operation with engine off
- Distance travelled (lifetime) in charge depleting operation with engine running
- Distance travelled (lifetime) in driver-selectable charge increasing operation (km)
- Fuel consumed (lifetime) in charge depleting operation (litres)
- Fuel consumed (lifetime) in driver-selectable charge increasing operation (litres)
- Total grid energy into the battery (lifetime)(kWh)
How will the data be collected:
This data will be collected during the vehicles periodic roadworthiness inspection and will form part of the items inspected in the National Car Test. In order to check the environmental capability of the vehicle, this check will occur via the standardised OBD inspection which already forms part of the NCT inspection therefore no additional time will be spent by the Vehicle Inspector conducting this part of the inspection.
Customers who do not wish for this data to be stored, can opt out by emailing email@example.com with the customer’s name, address, and car registration number. Please note this opt out will only be applicable to the current test cycle and not future tests and you must have a confirmed booking before you apply for the opt out option.
All data collected with be anonymised.
Most new cars are now fitted with an emergency call system known as eCall. This built-in Safety feature is automatically activated in the event of an incident when the airbags are deployed or can be activated manually by pressing the button. When eCall is activated, the system or vehicle sensors transmit your vehicle location including the direction the car is travelling to a 999 operator. This reduces the time it will take for the emergency services to respond to you.
There is no need to check if your eCall is working, as the system will carry out a self-test each time the vehicle is started. In case of any fault, a malfunction indicator or message may appear on your vehicle dashboard.
This malfunction indicator is an important safety feature and if this illuminates, it detects a failure in the system and the vehicle will fail the NCT. This item must be fixed, and the vehicle presented at the NCT centre for re-inspection before a test certificate will be issued.
3. OBD – Emissions
In 2021 and as part of the NCT, OBD inspections commenced to retrieve the following data:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Odometer Reading
- Electronic Braking System (EBS) and Anti- lock Braking System (ABS) fault codes
From May 2023, and as part of the OBD inspection, fault codes detected that relate to emissions and the performance of the engine will form part of the vehicle inspection.
When an OBD error is detected, it will result in the vehicle receiving an “Advisory Pass” provided the vehicle passes on all other items being assessed.
The National Car Test (NCT) Manual detailing the new testable items is published by The Road Safety Authority and is available for download.
NCTS have recently commenced the issuing of a new look NCT certificate. The new certificate contains a large number of security features along with a very small change to the colour of the certificate and disc.
Please note that the previous certificate issued will still be valid until they expire which is when the vehicle will be due for its next NCT. Enforcement is the responsibility of An Garda Síochána who can access NCT records and verify certificates.
If you are purchasing a second hand vehicle we would urge that you please check the serial number on the NCT disc to ensure it is not stolen. If you have any doubts regarding the validity of an NCT Certificate then please check out NCT Validity or phone NCT on 014135994 where a member of staff can confirm the validity of the NCT certificate for you.
The National Car Testing Service has become aware of a website (s) which claims to act as an intermediary for customers who want to book their NCT for a fee.
NCT wish to make it clear that this organisation has no affiliation with the National Car Testing Service in any capacity and urges the Irish public to proceed with caution and to only use the official NCT website https://www.ncts.ie/
Insurance Ireland has stated that its members will be pragmatic and understanding in their approach to the current delays at the National Car Testing Service(NCTS). Cover will continue to be provided where customers, through no fault of their own, are unable to obtain an NCT appointment.
Motor insurance and road traffic legislation require that motorists maintain their vehicles in a roadworthy condition at all times and this remains the case. Under the current circumstances, provided motorists make every effort to book appointments in the normal way, insurance companies will recognise that the current issue is not the fault of the customer.
We understand that currently some of our customers may have specific questions regarding their NCT appointment. We have compiled a few helpful answers to questions to assist NCTS customers.
The National Car Testing Service has identified a system error that has caused some NCT certificates to be issued incorrectly in the last twelve months. Some customers were incorrectly provided with a certificate of two years duration instead of a one-year certificate. The problem was caused by a computer error, which arose when the expiry dates for test certificates were extended in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This issue only relates to vehicles that were over 10 years old at the time of their last test, and which had their certificate extended by 4 months because of Covid19. It has affected around 34,000 cars out of a total of 1.3 million tested since the service resumed in June 2020.
The incorrect certificates, issued at the time of the inspections, have been revoked and new NCT certificates are being issued to all affected customers. This should be complete by August.
A free full test will be provided for those affected vehicle owners who purchased a vehicle with the expectation of a longer NCT certificate duration, if the vehicle is booked for a test in advance of its revised test due date.
We would like to reassure customers that NCTS has taken all the necessary steps to correct this administrative error and that we will be in contact directly with each affected customer. There is no need for you to take any action until you hear from us.
Members of the public, looking to purchase a vehicle over 10 years old, are advised to check the vehicle’s NCT certificate expiry date, before purchase. This can be done online.
The National Car Testing Service database has now been updated to reflect the correct NCT certificate expiry dates on these vehicles and all relevant authorities have been notified.
To ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements set out in the Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017, customers are advised to check that the details on the replacement certificate are valid and should display the corrected NCT certificate on their vehicle. The old certificate is no longer valid and should be destroyed.
For more information please click here (FAQ)
A new National Car Testing Service inspection centre will officially open in Meath on Monday July 5th. Located on the old Athboy Road in Navan, this will be the second NCT centre in the Meath region.. The opening of this new two-lane centre will see the NCTS network increase to 49 centres nationwide and over time, create an additional 12 jobs for the Meath area.
Speaking ahead of its first day of operations, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said “I am delighted to see the opening of this new two-lane centre in Navan which will serve the vehicle owner population of Navan, Dunshauglin, Slane, Trim and Athboy and will provide motorists with a convenient alternative that’s close to them, rather than having to travel to other neighbouring centres in Kells, Drogheda and Ballymun, Dublin The new centre in Navan will play its part in keeping vehicles and roads safe. The NCT as an important preventative road safety measure, ensures vehicles, particularly older vehicles using Irish roads are in sound working order, ensuring our roads are a safer place for our families and communities to travel. Of course, we should not forget too that it is also enhancing the environment by reducing harmful vehicle emissions”
NCTS provider, Mr Mark Synnott, Managing Director Applus+ Inspection Services Ireland Ltd said: “We are delighted to serve the people of Navan and surrounding areas with this new two lane centre, we are now inspecting more cars than ever before and in order to manage the increased demand for testing, we are delighted to open this new NCTS centre in Navan. Since Applus+ took over the operation of the NCTS service in January 2010, we have employed an additional 140 employees across our nationwide network of 49 test centres. Currently, we employ over 600 vehicle inspectors who combined carry out over 1.8 million inspections on an annual basis.”
In an effort to meet Ireland’s strategic objectives and continue to lead the way in improving road safety through the use of vehicle technology. Ireland in accordance with EU Directive 2014/45, will commence the use of OBD testing as part of the National Car Test (NCT) from 21st June 2021.
Ireland will be one of the first of the EU Member states to implement this new approach of testing which will help contribute to significantly safer vehicles on Irish roads.
The following changes will come into effect in the NCT from the 21st June 2021.
- NCT Manual 2021
From this date, a new version of the NCT manual V5.0 (June 2021) will come into operation. The NCT manual lists each item on which a car will be tested. It lays down the test method and pass/fail criteria to be adopted for the compulsory road-worthiness testing of passenger vehicles. It provides guidance in relation to why a vehicle may fail the NCT and the categorisation of defects.
The new manual is updated in line with Directive 2014/45 (EU) and is available for download on the NCTS website and Road Safety Authority website
- OBD Testing
An On-Board Diagnostics System (OBD) is a computer system inside a vehicle, that tracks and regulates a car's performance. It collects information from sensors inside the vehicle, to alert the user to a problem, often before it becomes a major issue.
From the 21st June, OBD testing will become an inspection item in the NCT. It will be introduced on a phased basis. Initially, when an OBD error code is detected it will result in the vehicle receiving an “Advisory Pass”. Then, from early 2022, when an error code is detected, this may constitute a reason for “failure”.
The inspection is quick and easy, the NCT Vehicle Inspector will plug the OBD scanner into the vehicle's OBD computer port known as the DLC (data link connector). This port is usually located under the steering wheel but may also be found in the glove compartment of the vehicle.
This OBD scanner will quickly indicate whether or not error codes exist, and it also helps and alerts the Vehicle Inspector to possible defects within the vehicle.
In order for the NCTS to conduct the inspection, we ask customers to ensure:
- Their glove compartments are unlocked and clear of personal belongings before their NCT.
- That any devices using the OBD port in the vehicle are removed in advance of the NCT.
The OBD scanner will scan the OBD system for:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Using the OBD scanner, the Vehicle Inspector will verify that the VIN read by the OBD scanner matches the number on the vehicle. While a difference will not be a reason for failure, the OBD VIN reading will be recorded on the VIR (Vehicle Inspection Report) issued to the customer.
- Odometer Reading
The Vehicle Inspector will record the odometer reading at the time of the test. They will also verify the reading using the OBD scanner and customers will be alerted to both readings on their VIR report.
- Electronic Braking System (EBS)
Any error code associated with the electronic braking system will be recorded on the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) provided to the customer following their NCT inspection.
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Any error code associated with the antilock braking system will be recorded on the Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) provided to the customer following their NCT inspection.
While, initially, vehicles with error codes will be recorded as ‘Advisory Pass’, the NCTS strongly recommends that any error codes be addressed by the vehicle repairer. However, the vehicle will not need to return for re-inspection, for these items alone.
From early 2022, should certain error codes be detected, they will constitute a reason for failure in the NCT and an NCT certificate will not be issued until the items are rectified and a pass result is achieved.
We recommend you liaise with your local garage/ mechanic who should be equipped with the necessary diagnostic equipment to perform this scan in advance of going for an NCT.
- Escalation of Defects
The new NCT manual identifies that, where a combination of deficiencies is recorded in the NCT in one area of a vehicle, the combination of deficiencies could lead to the result of the NCT being escalated to ‘fail dangerous’.
An example of one such combination is the inspection item, Brake Pedal. If the following 3 major defects appear on the overall test result, the result will be escalated to fail dangerous:
- Pedal travel is excessive, obstructed or insufficient reserve travel.
- Brake control not releasing correctly.
- Travel in the brake pedal indicates air in the brake system or brakes are in need of adjustment
In such instances, the deficiencies are considered to constitute a direct or immediate risk to road safety and the vehicle should not be driven on the road under any circumstances, in accordance with The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017, S.I. 415 of 2017.
For more information on these changes please see our FAQ
The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have officially announced the opening of a National Car Testing centre in Tuam, County Galway on Monday 29 March 2021.
The opening of this new two-lane centre will see the NCTS network increase to 48 centres nationwide and over time, create an additional 12 jobs for the Tuam area. This centre will have the capacity to inspect over 20,000 vehicles annually when fully operational.
The new centre will serve the people of North Galway and South Mayo, and will provide motorists with a convenient alternative that’s close to them, rather than having to travel to other neighbouring centres in Galway City, Ballinasloe or Castlerea for an NCT.
Mr. Mark Synnott, Managing Director of NCTS said “we are delighted to serve the people of North Galway with this new two lane centre and the opening of the Tuam centre will see us increase our network to 48 NCT centres nationwide and employ over 600 vehicle inspectors who combined inspect over 1.8 million vehicles on an annual basis. Over the next year, there are plans to provide a range of additional benefits to customers such as the opening of new testing centres in certain locations, the upgrading and refurbishment of existing centres and other service improvements, on behalf of the RSA.”
Located in the Carrowpeter, Doogra area in Tuam, Galway, the new Tuam NCTS centre is the fourth test centre in the Galway region and will serve people from North Galway, South Mayo and West Roscommon covering areas such as Tuam, Claregalway, Headford, Corofin, Ballindine, Mountbellow, Glenamadddy and Ballingar.
The NCTS is responsible for the compulsory car inspection programme in Ireland. The primary aim of the NCTS is to improve road safety and enhance environmental protection by reducing harmful vehicles emissions in Ireland. For further information on the NCTS, visit www.rsa.ie or www.ncts.ie
From 1st March, the applicable Government standard VAT rate will return to 23%. Please note that effective from that date the following prices will apply:
The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has now updated all records for those customers’ vehicles that qualified for the 4 month test extension as announced by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross in April. A vehicle with a test due date on or after 28th March 2020 has now had their test date extended by 4 months, see example below
Original NCT Expiry Date
New NCT Test Due Date
28th March 2020
28th July 2020
10th May 2020
10th September 2020
15th October 2020*
15th February 2021
*Cars first registered on or after 1st August 2016 are not eligible for the 4 month extension.
Customers should note this change and are encouraged to check their new test due date on the Check NCT Due Date section on the NCTS website before booking their test.
NCTS are reminding customers that if they book a test that is more than 90 days earlier than the test due date, the test will be a voluntary early test and the NCT certificate issued will be valid for 1 or 2 years (depending on the age of the vehicle) from the date of the successful test. NCTS are asking customers to note carefully the website messages they receive throughout the course of the booking process.
Leading global test, inspection and certification company Applus+ have welcomed the news, they have are awarded the contract to continue the provision of the National Car Testing Service in Ireland from June 2020 for a further period of ten years.
Applus+ have operated the contract since January 2010 and during the last 9 and half years have conducted over 18 million vehicle inspections across its network of 47 test centres.
The new contract will allow Applus+ to provide a range of additional benefits to customers such as the opening of new testing centres across the country, newly refurbished facilities and the use of highly advanced vehicle testing and inspection technology.
Reflecting on the news “Applus Ireland’s Managing Director Mr. Grant Henderson said “we are delighted to have secured the contract to operate the National Car Testing Service and we are looking forward to delivering many service improvements in the coming months”
To support the opening of new inspection facilities, Applus+ anticipate creating in excess of 80 new jobs over the coming years adding to their current workforce of 800+ employees making Applus+ the largest single employer in the automotive sector in Ireland.
This contract further strengthens Applus+ in Ireland, making them the largest single employer in the automotive sector within Ireland. Applus+ also operate inspection services on behalf of the Revenue Commissioner, National Transport Authority and the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
In photo: Moyagh Murdock CEO RSA with Grant Henderson Managing Director Applus+
In accordance with EU Directive 2014/45, a number of changes to the periodic vehicle inspection have come into force across all EU Member States. These changes are to unify vehicle inspection across the EU.
The changes are as follows
1. Amendments to treatment of Vintage Vehicles
If your vehicle is aged between 30-39 years (based on the vehicle's date of first registration) and you are not using your vehicle for commercial purposes, it will now have to undergo a roadworthiness test every two years instead of annually.
If you are using your vehicle for commercial purposes, for example as a wedding hire vehicle, there is no change to the test frequency and you must continue to have your vehicle tested annually.
Please note: if your vintage vehicle was inspected during the period 20th May 2017 to 19th May 2018, you will be entitled to a two year certificate. NCTS will endeavour to write to each customer affected detailing the requirements in order to amend their current NCT certificate. All queries regarding this change can be dealt with by the customer service department on (01) 4135994.
2. Categorisation of deficiencies into Minor, Major & Dangerous
In accordance with EU Directive 2014/45 and from 13th August 2018 defects will be classified as minor, major or dangerous and will appear in this format on your NCT Vehicle Inspection Report.
Should a customer receive this result, the vehicle has passed the test with minor faults recorded. The customer is required to have these faults repaired. The customer will have to present the vehicle for re-inspection before an NCT Certificate is issued
Previously classed as a Fail Refusal:
The customer will be advised that the vehicle has failed the NCT. The vehicle owner will have 30 days in order to have the item repaired and returned to the centre for re-inspection. An NCT Certificate will not be issued until the vehicle is returned for inspection.
If the vehicle is not presented within the 30-day period then a new inspection will need to be conducted
Where a vehicle is failed because of a dangerous defect that constitutes a direct or immediate risk to road safety such that, the vehicle should not be used on the road under any circumstances.
A sticker stating failed dangerous will be affixed to the vehicle by the Vehicle Inspector. The vehicle must be presented for re-inspection and receive a Pass Result before an NCT Certificate is issued.
It is illegal and unsafe for a motorist to drive a vehicle with a dangerous defect, which means the vehicle owner may incur penalty points and a court appearance if caught by An Garda Síochána.
For further information on the items inspected in the NCT, please refer to the NCT Manual
3. Amendments to treatment of vehicles which transfer from SPSV to Private
Upon a vehicle ceasing to be a public service vehicle, the test due date for such a vehicle shall be on the basis that the next test due date shall be the date on which the then current test by date expires and each subsequent test due date shall be the anniversary of that date.
Applus Car Testing Service was awarded the Go Best Service Award for the operation of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) at the recent Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards held in Dublin.
The GO Awards Ireland are open to public, private and third sector organisations across the Republic and Northern Ireland and showcases the very best that public sector procurement has to offer. Spokesperson for Applus, Sinead McKeon said, “We are extremely proud to receive this prestigious award which highlights excellence in our customer service. Winning this award recognises and acknowledges the hard work that all our staff put into constantly improving the service which we provide to over 2 million members of the public every year”.
Applus Car Testing Service recently achieved a significant milestone in attaining the security standard ISO 27001:2013 –Information Security Management Systems Certification Standard. After a series of complex and stringent audit processes conducted by Certification Europe, Applus were awarded the standard for the operation of the National Car Testing Service.
This International standard is recognised globally for managing risks to the security of information held by a company. It enables us to prove to customers and clients that we are managing the security of the information we hold.
This is a very important standard for Applus Car Testing Service Ireland to achieve and played a pivotal role in the awarding by the RSA of the 10-year NCTS contract to Applus.
Mr. Noel Brett, CEO RSA together with Mr. Pat O' Brien and Mr. Paul Hetherington of INAB formally presented Aisling McGuigan and Eamonn Power of NCTS with ISO 17020 certification.
The ISO 17020 standard is awarded to inspection bodies who demonstrate high levels of competence in the field of inspection, and the National Car Testing Service is the only inspection programme of its kind to be accredited to this standard. All aspects of the NCTS process were audited ranging from the independence, impartiality and integrity of the service to the quality systems in place, the inspection methods and procedures to the handling of inspection reports and certificates. The standard also focused on the efficiency of managing customers including the complaints and appeal process and premises.
NCT certificates and discs containing the following serial numbers
- E2999571 to E2999750
- E3028501 to E3029250
- E3063251 to E3063750
- E1717001 to E1718000
- E1750263 to E1750360
- E1686703 to E1686708
were stolen during a recent robbery at an NCT centre.
If you are purchasing a second hand vehicle we would urge that you please check the serial number on the NCT disc to ensure it is not stolen.
If you have any doubts regarding the validity of an NCT Certificate then please contact NCT on 014135994 and we will be quickly able to confirm the validity of the NCT certificate for you