About the NCT

Find out more about the NCT including the benefits of the NCT and the legislation underpinning the NCT

About the NCT.

Introduced in 2000, the National Car Test (NCT) is a preventative road safety measure that ensures cars using Irish roads are subject to a basic safety check at regular intervals.

All member states of the European Union are required to carry out a periodic test inspection of motor vehicles at regular intervals throughout their lifecycle.

The NCT confirms that a vehicle satisfies basic safety standards on the day the test is carried out.  It tests what is accessible and visible. It does not confer a warranty as regards the condition of the vehicle. All buyers of second hand vehicles are advised to have the vehicle independently assessed before purchase.  For more details please visit the Competition and Consumer protection commission website

The owner has the statutory duty to ensure that his/her vehicle remains in a satisfactory roadworthiness condition and complies with the relevant provisions of the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 1963-2006 at all times when it is used in a public place. The NCT does not replace or purport to replace the regular maintenance that a mechanic needs to carry out on a vehicle.

The Road Safety Authority have produced a number of basic car check safety videos to help you ensure your car is in a roadworthy condition at all times, you can view these videos by clicking here.

Benefits of the NCT

  • Safer, more reliable vehicles
  • Longer vehicle service life
  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • Reduced air and noise pollution
  • Avoidance of penalty points. Since 1 May 2009, you can receive penalty points for driving a vehicle on a public road that does not have a valid NCT.

NCT Legislation

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I. No. 567 of 2009), and various amendments in SIs 623/2011, 711/2011, 103/2012, 104/2012, 10/2013 and 303/2013 have been revoked.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.