About the National Car Test (NCT)
The NCT is not a warranty or a substitute for regular servicing.
The NCT is a preventative road safety measure that ensures vehicles over four years old are subject to a basic safety check at regular intervals. It's your responsibility to keep your vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place, not just when it's NCT is due.
Update on insurance cover, NCT delays and NCT at the driving testDuring the test, your vehicle is examined for any faults listed in the National Car Test (NCT) Manual 2021 and when it passes, you are presented with an NCT certificate and disc. By law, you must have a valid NCT unless it is exempt from testing.
Book and manage your NCT appointment.
NCT frequency and test due dates
Private cars must undergo a roadworthiness test when they are four years old and every two years thereafter until their 10th anniversary. After that they need to be tested annually. At 30 years they revert to every two years and are exempt from testing from 40 years old. The frequency of testing is set down in the Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 415 of 2017).
If you're unsure as to when your vehicle is due an NCT you can find out by logging on to the NCTS website. You can also sign up for test due date reminders via SMS or email.Visit the NCTS website
Voluntary Early Testing
Vehicle owners can present their vehicle for a test earlier than 90 days before their NCT due date. This is known as Voluntary Early Testing. Where this happens the vehicle will receive a 2 year (or 1 year depending on the age of the vehicle) certificate from the new date it passes the test. To qualify for Voluntary Early Testing the vehicle must pass the NCT prior to the 90 days before its test due date.
For more detailed information on Voluntary Early Testing please click on the link below.FAQs about the NCT
Changes to NCT test 2021
In accordance with EU Roadworthiness Directive 2014/45, the use of On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) testing has been introduced to the NCT from 21 June 2021. OBD is a computer system inside a vehicle that tracks and regulates its performance and can alert the user to a problem.New changes to NCT from 21st June 2021 pdf | 134 KB FAQ doc on OBD and other changes 21 June 2021 pdf | 144 KB
About your NCT certificate
When you successfully pass your NCT you will be issued with an NCT certificate. Your NCT windscreen disc will be attached to this certificate.
It’s important you keep your certificate safe because:
- it’s required by law and you may need to present it to a member of An Garda Síochána if requested.
- it’s proof that your vehicle met a set of basic requirements at the time of the test
Remember, your NCT certificate is not a warranty. Only items that are visible and accessible in your vehicle are tested.
It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy 365 days a year, not just when the NCT is due.
Our car maintenance videos will show you how to carry out basic checks on your vehicle to help keep it safe and roadworthy between services.
Car maintenance videos
How to get a replacement NCT cert, disc or report
Replacement vehicle documents. How to replace your NCT certificate or disc, NCT report, CRW certificate, ADR certificate. Apply online or apply by post.
Importing a vehicle from another EU member state
If you import a vehicle from another EU member state:
- this roadworthiness certificate will be mutually recognised in Ireland until its expiry date
- you can continue to display the roadworthiness certificate from the country of origin
- you should apply for and pass the NCT before the mutually recognised roadworthiness certificate expires.
Why odometer readings are printed on your NCT certificate
Up to three previous odometer readings are printed on your NCT certificate. This makes prior readings readily available to potential buyers, and should assist in deterring odometer fraud, also known as ‘clocking’.
Odometer readings can give us a good idea of the health of a particular vehicle. An older vehicle with fewer miles or kilometres on the clock may need less maintenance than a newer vehicle with more mileage. Odometers that have been tampered with can mislead owners and mechanics into thinking a vehicle has less mileage and therefore requires less maintenance, endangering those who travel in it.
The legislation governing the mandatory testing of vehicles is consolidated into The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2017, S.I. 415 of 2017
Previous regulations; specifically, The Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 567 of 2009), and various amendments in S.I.s 623/2011, 711/2011, 103/2012, 104/2012, 10/2013 and 303/2013 have been revoked.
Driving a vehicle which does not have a current NCT certificate is an offence under Section 18 of the Road Traffic Act 1961. Conviction for this offence carries five penalty points and Courts may impose a fine of up to €2,500 and/or up to three months’ imprisonment.
In addition, under the Road Traffic Act 1994 (Detention of Vehicles) Regulations 2011, S.I. No. 460/2011, a member of An Garda Síochána may seize a vehicle being used in a public place without proof of passing a road worthiness test.