How to Prepare for your NCT

How to Prepare for your NCT

NCT centres are opening up again.

The NCT is a compulsory vehicle inspection programme introduced in 2000 as part of an EU Directive, which aims to improve road safety and reduce harmful vehicle emissions in Ireland. Avoiding or delaying your car’s NCT could result in penalty points and fines so don’t be tempted to put it on the long finger.

Here are Liberty Insurance’s tips to to help prepare you and your car for the NCT.

Clean your car

It’s important to clean your car, inside and out, prior to your NCT, paying particular attention to the mirrors, windows, lights and registration plates. If your car is dirty it will be more difficult to inspect, and the test inspector might refuse to outright to test it. Don’t forget to clean the underbody of the car with a brush as this area will also be examined.

Remove belongings

Remove all personal belongings from your car and don’t forget to empty the boot. If there is a child’s car seat in the car, the test inspector is obliged to check that it is installed correctly.

Check seat belts

Ensure all seat belts and clips are visible, in good condition and working properly.

Top up fluids

Before your test, check that all your fluids are topped up. These include engine coolant, brake fluid, engine oil, windscreen wash and power steering fluid. These are easy to find under the bonnet and are generally labelled. If you have any difficulty consult your manual.

Check your lights and indicators

A blown bulb may not seem like a serious problem but it will mean an instant fail at the NCT centre. It’s important to check all your lights and indicators prior to your test. With the help of a friend check all indicator bulbs, parking lights front and rear, lighting of the rear number plate, dipped and high beam headlights, fog lights and also the brake lights.

Inspect tyres

Ensure your tyres are in good condition and have the required legal thread depth of 1.6mm. This is vital, not only for the NCT, but also for road safety in general. Remove the wheel hubcaps if necessary.

Check wipers

Ensure you rear and front wipers are not worn and are working correctly.

Check vehicle registration plates

Your number plates should be securely fastened, clean, and the letters and numbers should be clearly visible. All vehicle registration plates should comply with current regulation.

Dashboard warning lights

If a warning light is illuminated on your dashboard while the engine is on, get it checked immediately. It could mean an instant fail at the NCT centre, or worse still your car may not be safe to drive.

Documentation and fee

Don’t forget to bring your vehicle registration book, registration certificate, licensing certificate, your personal identification and a method of payment to the NCT centre. If you turn up without them, it’s likely your car will not be tested.

Be prepared

Don’t start cleaning and inspecting your car the morning of your NCT. Start inspecting your car the week before the test, so that you have time to get it fixed if you discover an issue. Aim to arrive at the test centre in plenty of time, if you are late you could miss your slot and you’ll have to pay for a re-test.

Please note: Completing all the steps above will not necessarily ensure your car passes the NCT as there may be an underlying issue. Many car owners get their car serviced prior to the NCT to check for faults and improve their chances at passing the test. If you are unsure if your car is due it’s NCT, click on the link below and simply enter your car registration.

Don’t forget car insurance is necessary for driving in Ireland. If you want affordable car insurance that gives you great cover, along with many additional benefits, get a quote with Liberty Insurance.