Driving test update


Test appointments are by invitation only

Test appointments are by invitation only so if you’re already on the driving test waiting list, no further action is needed. We’ll contact you directly when slots become available.


If you have received an invitation to book a test, need to cancel a test, or wish to join the waiting list, please go ahead and sign in to MyRoadSafety now.


Urgent Tests for essential workers

Under the current restrictions, we can only offer urgent tests to essential workers. If you’re an essential worker who has already applied for a test but need it urgently please complete this online form.


If you are not an essential worker and have an upcoming appointment scheduled, please cancel your test. Otherwise, it won’t go ahead and the slot will be lost. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your fee and you will be kept on the waiting list. We will contact you directly once the level 5 restrictions have been lifted and appointment slots are available.


Covid-19 safety measures

We have introduced new safety measures to the driving test which candidates must follow. Know more


Weather disruptions

Check if your driving test is affected by adverse weather conditions. Tests will be cancelled if conditions are unsafe.



From 1 June 2011 annual testing has been introduced for cars 10 years and older.  There is a need to ensure that older vehicles are frequently maintained and are fit for purpose on our roads. All cars presented for their 10th anniversary or subsequent NCT on or after 1 June 2011 will receive a certificate valid for up to one year only. The RSA has prepared a FAQ document(PDF) to assist with any queries in relation to testing of cars 10 years and older.

What is the NCT?

Introduced in 2000, the National Car Test (NCT) is a preventative road safety measure that ensures vehicles, particularly older vehicles, using Irish roads are in sound working order.

All member states of the European Union are required to test the roadworthiness of motor vehicles. In Ireland, the testing system is run by the National Car Testing Service (NCTS). A record 893,664 cars were tested by NCTS in 2010 and more than half of them passed the test first time.

An NCT certificate confirms that the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition at the time the test was conducted and the expiry date on the certificate indicates the last date before the next test is due for the vehicle. The owner has the statutory duty to ensure that his/her vehicle remains in a satisfactory roadworthiness condition and complies with the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 1963-2002 at all times when it is used in a public place.

Test Frequency

Age of Vehicle Test frequency
0-3 years No test required
4-9 years Every two years
10 years plus Annually, from June 2011
Cars registered before 1.1.1980 No test required

Booking an NCT

There are 46 NCT test centres located throughout Ireland established solely for the purposes of car testing. Find the centre that is most convenient to you.

An NCT for a car due its first test may be booked and undertaken up to 6 months in advance of the due date and up to 3 months in advance for subsequent NCTs.  If the test is undertaken in advance of the due date the certificate will still be issued to the next test due date.

Booking options:

When your car is due to be tested, you must book with the NCTS: they will then send you a letter with details of your test appointment.

You may book your NCT by any if the following methods


Phone: lo-call 1890 412 413 from 8am to 8pm (Mon-Thurs) and 8am to 6pm (Fri)

Email: [email protected]

Fax bookings: (01) 413-5982 (please remember to quote your booking ID and telephone number, if available).

Postal bookings:

The Booking Department
National Car Testing Service Ltd
Citywest Business Campus
Lake Drive 3026
Naas Road
Dublin 24

If writing, please remember to quote your booking ID and telephone number, if available.


The car test fee is €50 (inclusive of VAT). NCTS will accept cash, personal cheque with bankers card, all major credit cards and laser cards.

The fee for a re test is €28 if the use of a test lane is required. A re-test that doesn’t require the use of a test lane or requires the use of test equipment for the purposes of carrying out an inspection of tyres only is free of charge.

Note: if you wish to cancel or rearrange a test you must give the NCTS five working days’ notice (not including the day of the test). If you give less notice than this, or fail to show up for the test, a €22 surcharge will be applied when your vehicle is next brought for testing.

Any queries relating to the cancellation fee may be made in writing to the Customer Service Department, National Car Testing Service,  Lake Drive 3026, Citywest Business Campus, Naas Road, Dublin 24.

What the test examines

During the NCT, specific items are checked and tested. These include:

  • Brakes
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Lights
  • Steering and suspension
  • Chassis and underbody
  • Electrical systems
  • Glass and mirrors
  • Transmission
  • Interior
  • Fuel system

You can view a full list of the items which are covered in the National Car Test in the newly revised National Car Test (NCT) Manual 2010.

Note: the tests undertaken by the NCT evolve over time as industry safety technologies improve and new safety concerns arise. A number of new test items were introduced in April 2010. 

Benefits of testing

  • Safer, more reliable cars
  • Longer vehicle service life
  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Reduced air and noise pollution
  • Avoidance of penalty points. Since 1 May 2009, you can receive penalty points for not displaing your NCT disc.

Pass rates & Statistics

Pass rates are improving all the time. When testing was first introduced, less than 4% of vehicles passed at the first attempt compared to over 70% in 2009 for cars that are four years old. This figure falls to around 50% for eight-year-old cars and 40% for vehicles of nine years and older. View the full report of NCT results for 2007 to 2010 (PDF) and also year to date NCT results for 2011 (PDF)

Main Fail Items

The top five fail items in the first 6 months of 2010 are as follows:

  1. Brake Lines/Hoses
  2. Tyre Condition
  3. Tyre Specification
  4. Indicators/ Tell Tales
  5. Headlamp Condition

Fail Dangerous

Where a vehicle has a dangerous defect i.e. a defect that constitutes a direct and immediate risk to road safety such that the vehicle should not be used on the road under any circumstances, the NCT vehicle inspector will issue a Failed Dangerous result. 

It is an offence to drive a dangerously defective vehicle on the public road.  The penalty for such an offence is a fine of up to €2000 and 5 penalty points on conviction and/or 3 months imprisonment, (Offence under Section 54 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 and related amendments).

When the result is Failed Dangerous the NCT vehicle inspector will advise you as follows:

  • Of the existence, extent and nature of the defect.
  • That if you drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place while there is a defect affecting the vehicle which you know of or could have discovered by the exercise of ordinary care and which is such that the vehicle is, when in motion, a danger to the public, you shall be guilty of an offence.
  • That in the opinion of NCTS the vehicle is dangerous.
  • That you must make arrangements to have the vehicle removed from the test centre.

A sticker stating “Failed Dangerous” will be attached to the vehicle and the vehicle inspector will issue you with a statement regarding requirements for vehicles with a failed dangerous result.


All re-tests must be booked within 21 days of the initial test.  The fee for a re-test is €28 if the use of a test lane is required. A re-test that doesn’t require the use of a test lane or requires the use of test equipment for the purposes of carrying out an inspection of tyres only is free of charge, e.g. where minor visual items are concerned, such as replacement of windscreen wiper and registration plates.

Re-tests must be completed within 30 days of the initial test or a full test will need to be repeated and charged accordingly.

NCT report, certificate and disc

On successfully passing your NCT, you will be issued with an NCT report, NCT certificate and disc. You will need to keep the certificate safe and be able to present it when requested by a member of the Garda Siochána. You are also required to display the disc on your windscreen, as this will be subject to inspection by the Garda Siochána.

Lost certificates/reports

To replace a certificate or disc, go to your local Garda station and obtain an RF134 form, which must be stamped and signed by the Gardaí. Send this completed form back, along with either your windscreen disc or NCT certificate, whichever you may still hold, and a cheque or postal order for €12.70 payable to Applus Car Testing Service Ltd, to: The Test Certificate Administrator, NCTS, Lake Drive 3026, Citywest Business Campus, Naas Road, Dublin 24.

For a replacement NCT report, simply send your request to the Test Certificate Administrator at the above address, quoting the car registration number, make, model and owner details along with the fee of €12.70.  These fees may be subject to change.

NCT complaints procedure

If your vehicle fails an NCT and you wish to appeal, the procedure is as follows:
1.You should direct your concern in the first instance to the person in charge of the test centre, This approach will often clarify simple misunderstandings.
2. If this approach does not resolve your problem then you should write to the NCTS Customer Service Dept clearly outlining your concerns. To do this you should be able to obtain a complaints form at your local NCT Centre. NCTS Customer Service will investigate your complaint and send you a reply within 2 weeks.
3. If you are unhappy with the outcome of NCTS's investigation, you may appeal to the Independent Appeals Board (IAB) at NCT Appeals: Maryland House, 20-21 South William St, Dublin 2.  Or you can call them on 01 617 9556. When you lodge your Appeal with the I.A.B you will be required to pay an Appeal Fee equivalent to a Full Test Fee. If your Appeal is upheld then this Appeal Fee will be refunded in full
 If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the Courts.

Contact details

For NCT:

National Car Testing Service
Lakedrive 3026
Citywest Business Campus
Naas Road
Dublin 24
Tel: 1890 200-670 
Fax: (01) 413-5996
Email: [email protected]  

For Independent Appeals Board:

Independent Appeals Board
NCT Appeals
Maryland House
20-21 South William St
Dublin 2
Tel: 01 617 9556