The woes of the NCT in 2020

By Sandyford Motor Centre Sep 10, 2020

Don’t forget to book your retest if you were affected by the lifts debacle or the Covid-19 delays.

The NCT or National Car Test is now twenty years old. For 20 years, Irish motorists have brought their cars to their local test centre and waited for the Yay or Nay of a pass or failure, like an anxious mammy at the Irish oral exams.  It can be a nerve wracking experience and tales abound of failures for scuffed registration plates, bits of rust and faults from minor to major.  But the NCT has brought much peace of mind too.  A new NCT on a used car goes a long way toward buyer confidence and for those who forget to regularly service and never give their motors a drink of oil or water, the test is a yearly fitness test that ensures all bulbs are working and nothing important is likely to fall off on the way home. At Sandyford Motor Centre we have been assisting our loyal customer base to navigate the NCT with confidence and a car that’s test ready.  But even with our years of experience, we could not have anticipated the NCT woes of the past few months.

2020 was probably the worst year for the NCT test service, Applus.   A fault found in the car lifts in test centres outside of the republic of Ireland which  led to a major inspection of all lifts in every National Car Testing Centre and the disruption to tests.   Motorists could book and get a partial test as the underbody inspection was omitted.  By the end of March 2020, 50% of all test lanes were back functioning properly with lifts inspected deemed suitable for the job.  There was now a backlog of cars for complete tests and only taxis or those due a driving test were receiving a complete test.

Covid-19 saw the closure of all NCT test centres, as the whole country ground to a complete stop and came to terms with the ‘new normal’ of sourdough and banana bread and staying home washing hands. No one even considered the need for an NCT.  The Government gave a four month extension, but not for everyone.

Original NCT Date New Expiry 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.

Confused?  Many people were, but as our minds were on other things and cars were lying idle for the most part, no one was worried unduly about the NCT test.

The test centres opened up again in July and it is finally business as usual. Of course there are Covid-19 rules to abide by when attending, but the centres are open and very busy.  The cars affected by the partial tests of the lift debacle should now apply for the full test. There is no charge for these motorists.   For everyone else there is no reason not to have the full NCT on any car now, whether you are selling, buying or just fancy driving with all the legal requirements.   The NCT centre are encouraging drivers to check their new test due date here.  There is a worry that some drivers will forget that they have only half a test, or no test, and in a year where nothing was normal, neglect this important and compulsory aspect of driving in Ireland.

At Sandyford Motor Centre we are more than happy to conduct NCT checks and are the proud service and repair specialists for PEUGEOT, MAZDA, OPEL and RENAULT cars, serving the motor industry for more than 30 years.  A call to us can make the difference between a confident wait at the NCT centre and a happy outcome with no need for further retests and expense or a bad case of dejavu with extra costs for the retesting.

Contact us today to get NCT ready.

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