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NCT Pre-Test: Your Questions Answered

Updated: Mar 26


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At Pat Conlon Motors, we have been prepping cars for the NCT for years. We have helped hundreds of vehicles get through the NCT successfully. Despite our very competitive pre-NCT check prices, a pre-test still represents an investment, therefore, clients have questions. To make this information more accessible to our clients, we have compiled the most common questions below. If your question isn't in this blog, please get in touch with us directly.


What is involved in an NCT pre-test?



During the pre-test, a mechanic will give your vehicle a thorough check-up to identify any problems that may cause it to fail the NCT.


The mechanic will inspect your car's critical components, including the brakes, suspension, lights, tires, steering, emissions, bodywork, windscreen, and horn. They'll check the brake pads, discs, drums, and hydraulic system to ensure your car can stop safely. The suspension system will be checked, including the shock absorbers, springs, and ball joints.


The lights on your car will also be tested, including the headlights, tail lights, indicators, and fog lights. Your tires will be examined for their condition and tread depth, and the wheel alignment will be checked. The steering system will be tested, including the power steering fluid level and the steering rack.


The mechanic will also test your car's emissions, including the exhaust system, to ensure it meets the environmental regulations. They'll examine the bodywork for any signs of damage or rust that could affect your car's safety or performance. They'll check your car's horn to ensure it's functioning correctly and examine the windscreen for any chips, cracks, or other damage that might affect your driving visibility.


After the pre-test, the mechanic will give you a report of any issues they found with your car. It's essential to fix these issues before the actual NCT test to increase your chances of passing.


How much do you get fined if you don't have a valid NCT?



The fine for not having a valid NCT (National Car Test) in Ireland depends on the length of time that the vehicle has been without a valid NCT.


If a vehicle is found to be driving without a valid NCT, the driver may be fined up to €2,500 and receive five penalty points on their driver's license. The specific fine amount may vary depending on the circumstances, such as the type of vehicle and the severity of the offence.


It's important to note that driving without a valid NCT is illegal and unsafe, as it means the vehicle may not be roadworthy and could pose a danger to the driver, passengers, and other road users. Therefore, ensuring your vehicle has a valid NCT is always recommended.


Is it recommended to book a pre-NCT test before the actual NCT test?



Yes, booking a pre-NCT test before the actual NCT test is generally recommended, as it can help identify any issues with your vehicle that may cause it to fail the NCT test.


Booking a pre-NCT test with us is an excellent way to prepare your vehicle for the NCT test and increase your chances of passing it on the first attempt.


Can I drive without NCT if I have it booked?



In Ireland, driving a vehicle without a valid NCT is legal, provided you have a booking for an upcoming NCT test, and the car is roadworthy.


If you have an NCT test booked and are driving your vehicle to the NCT testing centre for the scheduled test, you are not required to display an NCT certificate on the car. However, you may be asked to provide proof of your booking, such as a confirmation email or text from the National Car Testing Service (NCTS).


It's important to note that even if you have an NCT test booked, your vehicle must still be roadworthy and meet the necessary safety and emissions standards. If your car is found in an unroadworthy condition or does not meet the required standards, you may still be penalised, even if you have an NCT test booked.


In summary, while it is legal to drive a vehicle without a valid NCT if you have a booking for an upcoming test, it's essential to ensure that your car is roadworthy and meets the necessary safety and emissions standards.


If you want to book a pre-NCT test with Pat Conlon Motors, please get in touch with our garage today.

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