Caighdeáin fheithicle

Standards are a key component of road safety. This section deals with standards for vehicles, private and commercial, on Irish roads

Vehicle standards

Vehicle standards, and vehicle testing for compliance, are a vital aspect of road safety.

Road safety statistics show that dangerous and defective vehicles are a factor in road deaths and serious injuries. Almost half (47%) of collisions that occurred in 2007 involved vehicles that were nine years old or more. Almost half (45%) of serious injuries from collisions happened in 2007 involved vehicles that were nine years old or more.

Vehicle owners, by law, must get their vehicle tested through the NCT, otherwise they can put themselves and others at risk by driving vehicles that may be dangerously defective, for example with poor brakes, damaged suspension, worn tyres, or defective lighting.

See our Vehicles & Legislation section for more information about the standards that apply to cars and commercial vehicles.

The Vehicle Standards & Enforcement Directorate of the Road Safety Authority deals with standards for vehicles in use on our roads and standards that must be met before a vehicle enters into service.

Second hand cars

You should get a valid certificate of roadworthiness when you purchase a second hand car over 4 years old.  This certificate simply assures that the vehicle meets the minimum condition of roadworthiness on the date it was tested. 

No reliance may be placed by a prospective purchaser on the certificate of roadworthiness for assurance that the vehicle is in good condition when they purchase it. 

Instead, you should get a suitably qualified mechanic or auto engineer to inspect the vehicle before you buy it.   For further information, refer to the National Consumer Agency Guide to buying a vehicle.

If you purchased a vehicle which you later found unsatisfactory, or unfit for purpose, you can contact the National Consumer Agency for advice on your rights.

Further information

For specific queries on vehicle standards, contact:

Vehicle Standards
The Road Safety Authority
Moy Business Park
Primrose Hill
Dublin Road
Ballina
Co Mayo

Tel: 096 25014

Fax: 096 25252

Email: vehiclestandards@rsa.ie