Second only to your actual driving test, the NCT can be a stressful examination of a drivers road worthiness. The NCT website notes that the purpose of the test is to promote a culture in which more frequent car servicing is common place. This will provide better fuel economy, reduce overall repair costs and lower the risk of breakdowns and crashes that could result in potentially lower insurance premiums. The NCT is conducted every 2 years for vehicles that are younger than 10 years. Vehicles that are 10 years or older must undergo an annual inspection to pass the NCT.
This can result in an anxious few weeks each year or two for Irish drivers. With the initial test costing €55 and any subsequent follow up tests costing €28 (free if only a visual inspection), this can end up being an expensive process even before any necessary mechanical work is carried out. If your NCT is coming up, we’ve put together this helpful guide on how best to prepare yourself to pass first time.
Book test well in advance:
Your expiration date of your current certificate will be located next to your tax disc on your car windshield but you can also confirm this and book your test by inputting your registration number into the NCT website. By booking yourself in early you’ll be able to give yourself more than enough time to get your vehicle validated even in the case of failing your initial test.
Conduct your own pre checks:
Before your car can be put through the rigours of the testing centre, you should have the following checks conducted:
- There is adequate oil and water
- Wheel hubcaps should be removed and tyres inflated to the correct pressure.
- Your cam belt and timing belt should be in a fit state.
- All of the front and rear seat belts should be functioning and visible.
- Your lights should all be checked and set properly.
- Vehicle temperature should be normal during the day of testing.
Get a professional opinion:
If you’re in any doubt about passing any of the pre-test checks then it may be worth getting a professional opinion and having some maintenance work being done on your vehicle before the test. This will save you the time, effort and potential costs of getting it addressed before a re-test. Registered mechanics are well used to working on NCT related work so a quick consultation with one may set your mind at ease in relation to some of the more technical elements of the test. This becomes particularly important when you’re dealing with an older or vintage vehicle.
Bring appropriate documentation:
This one seems pretty obvious but in the rush to prepare your vehicle physically, the documentation you will need to bring can be the farthest thing from your mind. Failure to bring your driving licence and the vehicle registration and licensing documents will result in an automatic fail on the day of testing. Everyone knows someone who has allowed themselves to get caught out by this so don’t be the next one!
Clean the car inside and out:
Giving your vehicle a thorough clean in preparation for your test is an absolute must for drivers. Cars must be reasonably clean especially the under body. Clear out your boot of any valuable and personal belonging also. Sprucing your car up before its big day will also give you that extra boost of confidence before you drive into the test centre and hand over the keys.
Although these tips can still never guarantee that you’ll pass the NCT first time, they will act as a refresher each time that renewal date comes back around. What we can guarantee is take we can take care of your car insurance. You can get a great value 2 year car insurance policy meaning you won’t have to worry about one renewal in 12 months time. We also offer great cover on your home insurance too. For more news, offers and content follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.