Voluntary Early Testing

From July 28, 2014, car owners and members of the motor trade will be able to book an NCT test at any point throughout the year prior to their next mandatory test. Previously, NCT tests could only be booked within 90 days of a vehicle’s test due date.

By booking and passing on a date prior to this 90-day period, car owners will be given an NCT certificate that expires on the anniversary of their voluntary test. Each subsequent mandatory test will be required to take place on the one or two year anniversary of this voluntary test (depending on the age of the vehicle).

Safer vehicles

The NCT test has made a significant contribution to Ireland’s road safety.

Voluntary early testing will further improve the safety of Irish roads by encouraging car owners and the motor trade to test their vehicles more often. In addition, voluntary early testing will help spread demand for tests throughout the year.

A valid NCT gives assurance that a car has met a set of basic requirements at the time of the test having regard that only components that are visible and accessible can be assessed.  The NCT cannot be regarded as a warranty. All buyers of second hand cars are advised to have the car independently assessed before purchase.  For more details please visit the Competition and Consumer protection commission website.

Fewer than 2 years old
More than 2 years old but fewer than 4 years old Between 4 years old and 9 years, 9 months old More than 10 years old
Vehicle passes more than 90 days ahead of a mandatory test An NCT is not required for such a vehicle, but a voluntary test may be requested – a Vehicle Inspection Report will be issued but no NCT Certificate or disc will be issued. Next test date is reset to the second anniversary of this voluntary test. Next test date is reset to second anniversary of this voluntary test. Next test date is reset to anniversary of this voluntary test.
Vehicle passes within 90 days of a mandatory test n/a Next test date is unchanged. Next test date is unchanged. Next test date is unchanged.
Vehicle passes one or more months after a mandatory test n/a Next test date is unchanged. Next test date is unchanged. Next test date is unchanged.


Note: Where a vehicle has already undergone a voluntary early test and the test due date has been reset, if this vehicle passes the test within 90 days of the 10th anniversary of first registration, a certificate valid to the 11th anniversary will be issued, and the test due date will be reset to the anniversary of first registration.

For more examples of voluntary early testing scenarios download this document(PDF).