Still waiting for your NCT? Try these tips to keep your car in good shape

Motorists are urged not to use delays in NCT testing their cars as an excuse to allow their vehicles to expire.

We all know and hear about long delays to get a test spot for a car every day. The backlog of a large number of vehicles to be tested means that people have to wait many weeks and months before bringing their cars to the test centers.

Service providers struggled to find enough staff to handle the backlog.

Combined with the build up of cars already well past their due date as lockdown holdovers, both testers and owners have been hit hard by the perfect storm.

While gardaí apply a degree of leniency on an ad hoc basis when a car’s test date has passed and a new test has been requested, drivers should maintain their car as if it would be tested the next day.

Remember that the day of the exam is just a snapshot. At any stage, something can go wrong. Tires, for example, are among the items that require constant attention.

They’re consistently among the top five reasons NCT fails—people just don’t check them.

Continental Tires’ Tom Dennigan reminds us all to make sure our cars are roadworthy.

He said: “We know from surveys and feedback from tire dealers across the country that many drivers don’t give a second thought to the roadworthiness of their car once they’ve passed the NCT.

“Given the recent long delays in NCT testing, some motorists could roll the dice in danger if they neglect to maintain their car, especially if they were given a hint about how their car was working when their car was last presented. ”

With that in mind, here are some simple checks you should perform regularly to keep your car in good condition and ready for inspection.


A tire check can be carried out quickly and easily by checking the tread depth and tire pressure and paying attention to any bumps. It is recommended to check the tires at least every two weeks and in any case before a long journey.


Brakes and brake fluid levels are critical safety items. If you feel “soft” when you pedal, have your car checked by a professional.


You will need two people to do this: One person will need to walk around the car while the lights are being tested.

windshield wipers

Windshield wipers (including the rear ones) can wear out, leaving streaks on the windshield that reduce visibility. Also check the fill level of your windshield washer system. They empty pretty quickly.

coolant and antifreeze

Consult your car’s manual to verify that both are at the correct level. It’s still winter and you need them.


This should be checked on older vehicles, especially as they use a drop or two more than newer vehicles.

Mr Dennigan says the onus is on all motorists to “proactively take responsibility for the roadworthiness of their vehicle”.

There is too much at stake to neglect maintenance. He added motorists just thinking about it at NCT time are exaggerating the risk given the length of the delays. Still waiting for your NCT? Try these tips to keep your car in good shape

Fry Electronics Team

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