DONEGAL motorists have
been urged to get their cars tested soon to avoid
new on-the-spot fines and penalty points for not
having a valid NCT disc.
A major rush on NCT centres is expected as new
rules, to be introduced in early December, see three
penalty points imposed on drivers' licences for
expired and invalid NCTs.
Previously, NCT offences were dealt with through the
district courts. But the new legislation will allow
gardaí to impose fixed charge notices including
three penalty points and a fine for such breaches.
National Car Test operators, Applus, have now
advised people with overdue or soon-to-expire discs
to get their cars tested without delay.
"The penalty points system is changing. From early
December 2014 driving a vehicle without a valid NCT
will be a fixed charge offence attracting three
penalty points," the company said in a statement.
"You can have your vehicle tested 90 days before
your test due date without affecting when your NCT
would normally expire.
"You can also opt for a Voluntary Early Test (and)
get your vehicle tested more than 90 days in advance
of the due date and get a certificate for one or two
years from the date of the successful test,
depending on the age of vehicle," Applus added.
Some 1,058,811 vehicles were tested at NCT centres
nationally from January to the end of last month.
Of those, 541,333 (51.1%) failed while 513,620
(48.5%) passed the roadworthiness test.
A worrying 3,858 cars were deemed too dangerous to
drive away from the NCT centre.
Meanwhile, of the 533,108 vehicles that underwent a
re-test, slightly over 91% passed while almost 9%
failed second time around.
A total of 657 vehicles were still deemed too
dangerous to drive following the re-test.
Cars going through the NCT this year carry the
registrations 2010, 2008, 2006, 2004 and older.
This year's figures to date continue the rising
trend in the number of older cars presented for
testing in the downturn.
Almost 500,000 more cars were put through the NCT in
2013 compared to at the height of the boom in 2007.
However, consumer confidence appears to be returning
with the Society of the Irish Motor Industry
predicting new vehicle sales of potentially 120,000