Record 1.3 million NCTs last year
THE National Car
Testing Service (NCT) has had its busiest year on
record with more than 1.3 million vehicles tested
for roadworthiness last year.
The new figures show that a total of 1,344,265 cars
were tested in 2014 compared with 1,170,899 the
previous year - an increase of 173,366.
The spike is partly attributed to more people
holding on to older cars and a rush for tests in the
closing months of last year due to the introduction
of penalty points for invalid NCT discs.
The NCT centre in Carndonagh.
The new figures,
released yesterday by NCT operator Applus, also
continue a trend that began in 2012, of more cars
failing than passing the test each year.
A total of 689,255 cars (51.2 per cent) failed the
test last year compared to a pass figure of 650,210
(48.4 per cent).
The statistics also show that 4,800 (0.4 per cent)
vehicles were immediately put off the road by NCT
mechanics who deemed them too dangerous to drive
away from the centre.
This was 500 more in the 'fail dangerous' category
than in 2013.
AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan said
road users should not be unduly alarmed by the 'fail
"We don't want to be complacent about the figure but
it's a relatively small amount in the context of 1.3
million vehicles tested last year. We would be more
worried if the NCT wasn't spotting them and
preventing them from going out on the road. That's
the reason why we have an NCT in the first place and
an annual test for cars over ten years old," said Mr
The fact that more than half of vehicles are failing
the test first time, was symptomatic of people
continuing to use the test as a diagnostic tool, he
"We have to try and move away from this culture of
just thinking about passing the NCT and not worrying
about the car for the next two years.
"Really what we should be doing is maintaining cars
on an ongoing basis but people tend not to do that.
The average human being thinks their car is perfect
if it passes the NCT. But that doesn't mean that
they should skimp on maintenance." Mr Faughnan said
poor tyre condition was a regular feature in many of
the AA’s winter call-outs this year.
Cars tested by the NCT in 2014 were registered 2010,
2008, 2006, 2004 and older.
The main fail items were front suspension followed
by tyre condition; headlamp aim; brake line/hoses
and stop lamps.
Of the 682,365 cars that were put through a re-test
last year, 620,469 (90.9 per cent) passed; 61,072 (9
per cent) failed again while 824 (0.1 per cent) were
again deemed too dangerous to drive.
Meanwhile, a total of 272,661 vehicles were tested
in the first two months of 2015. Of these, 136,635
(50.1 per cent) failed while 135,101 (49.5 per cent)
passed. A total of 925 vehicles tested in January
and February were deemed un-roadworthy. Some 152 of
these were still not fit to drive after a re-test.