National Car Test and Roadworthiness Testing Requirements for Goods Vehicles taxed Privately

National Car Test:

The National Car Test (NCT) was introduced in Ireland on 4th January 2000.

The NCT conducts car (EU category M1) roadworthiness testing - in this context a car is defined as "a mechanically propelled vehicle having at least 4 wheels, which is constructed primarily for the carriage of passengers and which has a maximum of 8 seats excluding the driver's seat".

What are the benefits of car testing? 

  • safer vehicles  

  • improved reliability  

  • improved fuel economy  

  • cleaner air/less noise  

  • potential for lower insurance costs

What cars must be tested?

All cars four years and older must undergo an NCT. The NCT due date is calculated by reference to the date of first registration of the car with tests due every two years for cars younger than 10 years.

Annual testing is now a legal requirement for vehicles that present for their 10th anniversary test and each subsequent test. You can test your vehicle up to 90 days in advance of the anniversary of your registration date. Please note that testing your vehicle within the 90 day period will not alter the date on which your vehicle falls due for the NCT each year nor will it extend the NCT certificate expiry date.

Where can I get my car tested?

NCT centres are located throughout the country including centres in Tralee, Killarney and Caherciveen.

How much will the NCT cost?

The NCT fee for a full test is 55.00 Euro and a re-test costs 28.00 Euro (both fees are inclusive of VAT and maybe subject to change). Re-tests, which do not require the use of test equipment, will be free. Free re-tests cover minor items, for example, a visual inspection to check that faulty windscreen wipers have been replaced.

If you cancel a confirmed appointment with less than five working days notice (Mon. - Fri., not including the day of the test or the day you contact NCTS) or fail to show up for the test, a €22.00 surcharge will be applied when you next bring your car for testing. A similar surcharge of €11.50 will apply in the case of a re-test.

What vehicles are not tested by NCTS?- see also Roadworthiness Testing Requirements for Goods Vehicles Taxed Privately below

All Heavy Good and Light Goods Vehicles must be inspected at an approved VTN centre and NOT at an NCTS centre.

Please note: Light Goods Vehicles are classed as the following: have the capacity to carry only two passengers, have no side windows and no operating rear side doors

Where can I get further information?

Queries in relation to any aspect of the NCT should be directed to:

Customer Enquiries, National Car Testing Service (NCTS),
Lakedrive 3026, Citywest Business Campus,
Naas Road, Dublin 24.

Tel: 1890 200 670  Fax: 01 - 413 5996
Email:  Web:

Roadworthiness Testing Requirements for Goods Vehicles Taxed Privately:

All goods vehicles must complete an annual roadworthiness test in a Commercial Vehicle Test Centre (VTN) regardless of how the vehicle is taxed. The motor tax category of a vehicle has no bearing on how the vehicle is tested.

Under vehicle testing regulations, a goods vehicle (EU Categories N for motor vehicles adn O fpr trailers) is a vehicle constructed or adapted primarily for the conveyance of goods or burden of any description whether or not is is used for such a purpose. This included vehicles such as car vans and 4x4 vehicles converted for goods use.

Ambulances, buses, and minibuses, goods trailers, all Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV), and Light Goods Vehicles (LGV) must pass a roadworthiness test one year after first registration and thereafter every year.

The onus is on the owner of the vehicle to have it tested - you will not receive notification that your vehicle is due a test.

At present, the driver of a vehicle not having a current Certificate of Rodworthiness or NCT certificate as appropriate, is subjext to prosecution and on conviction may incur five penalty points and a cour t fine,

Further Contact Information:

For more information on the above please contact the Commercial Vehicle Testing Section of the Road Safety Authority at 091 872-600, or at


Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email:

  • cssimg
  • wai-aaaimg
  • xhtml image