Getting Ready For Your NCT

With over 50% of cars failing their NCT every year it makes sense to give yours the best chance of passing and to make the whole experience as stress free as possible!

Firstly, book your NCT well in advance so you have a good choice of dates – and can pick a suitable time of day for you (so that you’re not rushing after work or missing out on your beauty sleep). You can book the test up to 3 months in advance (or 6 months if it’s your car’s first NCT).
Remember if your car is aged between 4 and 9 you will have to do a test every 2 years. If it’s 10 years or older the test is annual.

1 week to go –

  • Get your headlights set. This is a 10 minute job for someone with the right equipment and if done before the test it can save you €28 on a re-test fee, never mind the hassle of re-booking and the valuable time it would take up!
  • Check the thread on your tyres – anything below 1.6mm will fail the test and if it’s less than 2mm you need to change them a.s.a.p. Don’t forget to check your spare wheel too!

3 days before –

  • Check your oil & coolant level and your tyre pressures (see last weeks post – here)
  • Get the hose out and clean! Make sure you hose down the underneath of the car too.
  • Hoover and wipe down the dashboard inside the car and give your windows a good scrub!
  • Make sure your wiper blades are working, and don’t forget the rear wiper….

1 day before –

  • Remove your hubcaps, or centre cap on your alloy wheels, if the wheel nuts can’t be seen.
  • Empty the boot and remove anything unnecessary from the interior of the car. Make sure all your seat belts are visible and not getting caught in anything. Remember – If a childseat is fitted it will be tested.
  • Dig out your vehicle registration book and your driving licence as you will need to hand these to the tester when you arrive.
  • Check the route! If you’ve never been to the test centre before print off a map of directions so you won’t get lost!

On the day –

  • Don’t forget your test fee!
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to the test centre.
  • If you can, make sure to drive the car for at least 30 minutes before the NCT so it’s warmed up and anything nasty that has settled in the exhaust won’t affect your emissions test!

Suzanne Keane

13th August, 2012



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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