April 14, 2023
NCT criteria changes required to reduce backlog – Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications and Transport, Martin Kenny TD, has called on the Minister for Transport to carry out a review into the NCT system as the long delays that people are experiencing are causing havoc across the country. 

Teachta Kenny said: 

“The system is under real stress and consideration needs to be given to extending the time between tests by allowing the test time to run from when the car is tested rather than from when it falls due. At present many cars are only a few months in test when the next test becomes due because of the long delays.

“The NCT system was introduced to conform with an EU directive that sought to set standards of road worthiness and control emissions right across all EU member states. 

“When a new car reaches four years old it has its first test and then every two years until its tenth birthday, after which it is an annual test. Pandemic restrictions meant that all these tests were postponed which caused a long backlog.   

“We also have the additional issue where there has been a notable increase in the number of older cars being kept on the road as second-hand cars are scarce and more expensive. 

“As the system struggles to catch up, there are now delays of several months to get an NCT across the country. 

“One issue that needs to be considered is the time between tests. At present, the NCT test is due at the same month each year, irrespective of the date of the previous NCT. Due to the current backlog, many are waiting between four to five months for the NCT, with the following year’s test due less than seven or eight months later. 

“In order to tackle this backlog and reduce the pressure on the system, the Minister for Transport must consider changing the testing time criteria from the same month every year, to a year from when the test is completed. 

“The Minister must also consider temporarily allowing an extra year before new cars would be required to have the first NCT. 

“The additional staffing at NCT centres and longer operating hours are welcome and will help, but the backlog is being compounded by more older cars falling due faster. 

“An intervention in the system will be required to get it under control.”

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