Dáil Question No: 211

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there is an average waiting time of three months for National Car Test testing; the steps he is taking to alleviate the issue; if Gardaí will employ discretion in dealing with drivers who, due to this backlog, cannot secure an appointment before their NCT certificate expires; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 19th February, 2015.

Ref No: 7439/15

Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport
Paschal Donohoe


Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006), the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has overall responsibility for the operation, oversight, development, quality assurance and delivery of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS).

I understand from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) that any car owner should receive an NCT appointment within 28 days and that in order to meet this standard, in some cases, the National Car Testing Service (NCTS) holds requests on a waiting list until a suitable slot is found. In the majority of cases, customers are given a slot within the required timescale.

The RSA has also repeatedly emphasised that the availability of appointments on the NCTS website is not a reflection of the total number of test slots available to customers. If a person requires an early test, they should follow the advice on that website which clearly advises that if a suitable slot cannot be obtained online, to contact the NCTS call centre directly on (01) 413 5992 or to log a request for an appointment through the website.

The RSA is encouraging people to book early, as the test may be undertaken up to 90 days in advance of the due test date without affecting the expiry date of the new certificate. This system is to ensure that owners have ample time to have their vehicle tested before their current NCT certificate expires.

Enforcement of the relevant legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána. If a person’s NCT test date is imminent, it will be a matter for the Gardaí to use their discretion. However, responsibility rests with owners and users of vehicles to ensure their vehicles are in compliance with the law.