Why do cars fail the NCT


A bit of essential maintenance by motorists could cut the number of cars failing the National Car Test (NCT), Suzanne Keane explains the most common reasons for failing

Lesss than half of all cars tested for the NCT pass on the first go. Retest results are more encouraging with more than 90% passing and only 0.1% falling into the “Fail Dangerous” category.

The most common failures are as follows –

Front Suspension

Generally your suspension will fail either on imbalance (once side not working as well as the other) or worn/leaking parts. These can affect your braking and handling ability so are an important fix!

Tyre Condition

Tyres need to be correctly inflated, have sufficient thread, not have any visible damage or lumps and also need to be “E” marked. They will also need to be the same type and size on each axle (i.e. same tyres on both front wheels or both back wheels). If you’re unsure about your tyres get them checked out before the NCT

Headlamp Aim

There are few things more annoying than being blinded by oncoming traffic, or not being able to see where you’re going to having the aim of your lights checked should be on a regular maintenance checklist!

Brake Line/Hoses

Your brakes work with fluid in a sealed system. If your brake hoses are torn/worn or starting to get a bit shabby you won’t be able to brake as well, if at all!!

Brake Lights

Now that you’ve got your brakes in tip top shape (see above) and you’re not afraid to use them keep in mind the cars travelling behind you. If they can’t see your brake lights they won’t be able to stop or slow down when you do…..

What’s frightening about the 5 items above is how crucial they all are to road safety and protecting yourself while driving.

Make sure to keep your car in good condition regularly and not just because you have an NCT coming up!

If your NCT is coming up then check out our tips here and give yourself   the best chance of passing


 Suzanne Keane

27th July, 2017


Author: Suzanne Keane

A confirmed petrol head with a penchant for Retro VW’s, Suzanne has been taking apart (and sometimes putting back together) her own cars for years! You can follow Suzanne on Twitter at @_suzannekeane

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