8 Simple Ways to Get Your Car Through the NCT

3 March 2022
Posted by: GT Group

Failed NCT tests are at best, costly and inconvenient. It also means your car is not legally compliant. Carry out these simple checks to help get your car through the NCT test first-time.

Getting your car through the NCT test is an essential part of safe and legal motoring in Ireland . As the test looms, many car owners wonder if their car will pass the test and earn the requisite National Car Test Certificate. With some simple pre-NCT checks that you can carry out yourself, you can give your car the best chance of getting through the test.

1. Book Your Test in Plenty of Time

It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure a car has a valid NCT certificate so don’t leave it until the last minute to book your test.  There are often long waiting lists for NCT tests and it’s not uncommon to wait months for a test appointment. The NCT test allows you to pre-book your test up to three months in advance of the expiry of your current certificate. The new cert will then be valid for the full term, beginning from the expiry date of your current cert rather than from the date of the test.

2. Check your Lights and Indicators

Switch on all lights and do a quick walk around to make sure all are in working order. Remember to check both high and low beams on your headlights and also the parking/side lights. If your car fails on a bulb failure, it’s a return visit to the NCT Centre for a simple visual re-check and not a full re-test but it’s an inconveniance that can be avoided with a quick pre-nct check.

3. Check Your Number Plates

Your car will need standard, NCT compliant number plates in order to pass the test. Most number plates fitted by garages and car dealers meet all of the requirements for colour, text size, background and other details but if you have changed your number plates since the last test or haven’t had the car tested before, it’s worth double checking the details. You may also fail the NCT test of a number plate is missing, not correctly attached or not clearly visible so make sure they are clean and the lights are working on the rear plate.

4. Check Your Seat Belts

Check that all seat belts are working correctly and the seat belt buckles and receivers are clearly visible, particularly the rear centre buckle which can often slip between the seat base and back.

5. Check Your Tyres

The legal minimum tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm. You can easily check the tread depth by inserting a €1 coin on it’s edge into the tyre tread at the centre of the wheel. If the gold rim of the coin cannot be seen, your tread depth is most likely adequate. If however, any tyre shows obvious signs of wear or damage such as uneven wear near one side or damage to the sidewall,  you should have it checked professionally for your own safety. Check the tyre pressures and make sure all tyres are correctly inflated.

You can easily check the tread depth by inserting a €1 coin on it’s edge into the tyre tread at the centre of the wheel. If the gold rim of the coin cannot be seen, your tread depth is most likely adequate.

6. Remove any Wheel Trims or Hubcaps

An essential part of the NCT test is checking that all wheel nuts are present and correctly tightened. The wheel nuts must be clearly visible and accessible for this part of the test so it is up to you the present the car for testing with the wheel trims or hubcaps removed, if there design means the wheel nuts are normally covered.

7. Check and Top Up all Fluids

Make sure your car has adequate fuel for the duration of the test and also check oil, coolant and washer fluid levels.

8. Make Sure to Bring your Drivers Licence.

You will be required to present your driving licence as a valid form of  ID. If you don’t have it with you, your test will be cancelled and you will be required to re-book. You may be asked to provide other documentation depending on the circumstances. For a comprehensive list of requirements for attending your NCT test centre, and to book your NCT test online, visit ncts.ie

Of course, none of the above will guarantee your car will pass the NCT but it may help to avoid annoying test failures due to small, easily avoidable issues. To ensure your car passes the NCT first time, GT Group provide a comprehensive pre-NCT assessment using our dedicated NCT test lane. Any potential faults or test failures can be identified and rectified in advance, avoiding the inconvenience of a test failure.

Contact Us to book your car in for a full Pre-NCT assessment today.


PRE-NCT Test & Repair Services

GT Tyres & Service Centre provide a full pre-NCT testing and repair facility using our dedicated NCT test lane. Contact Us to book your appointment.

  • Fully simulated NCT testing procedure
  • In-House dedicated NCT test lane
  • Complete vehicle assessment & repair
  • Experienced technicians and modern testing equipment