Putting secondhand cars to the test

Ten-year-old vehicles now have to be checked every year for safety so before you get motoring, make sure the NCT certificate can go the distance It is hard to believe but it is over a decade since the NCT was introduced by the National Car Testing Service. Key changes for drivers The NCT, which tests the roadworthiness of cars, however, has seen some changes since it was first introduced in January 2000. On 1 June 2011 annual testing was introduced for cars 10 years and older i.e. cars having their 10th anniversary or subsequent test. (Cars registered prior to 1 January 1980 are exempt from the test). This change means that people buying secondhand cars more that are 10 years or more old that they’ve seen advertised through DoneDeal will need to check the NCT disc to verify how long the car’s NCT certification is truly valid for. Up until June 2011, a car for sale with ‘Just passed NCT’ in the ad would have given the buyer the idea that the car wouldn’t have to undergo the NCT for almost two years. This is because the frequency of testing private cars in Ireland was in line with the minimum EU requirements i.e. the first test is carried out after four years, with a test every other year thereafter. Making our roads safer For cars that reached their 10th anniversary on or after 1 June 2011 this is no longer the case. In this instance, ‘Just passed NCT’ means that the car has less than a year until its next roadworthiness test. According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), yearly testing was introduced to ensure that older cars are maintained properly.

“The pass rate at NCT for four-year-old cars is almost 70% while it deteriorates to an average of just 33% for cars over 10 years old. More than one car in a hundred over ten years old is found to be in a dangerous state,” the RSA reports. Given the pass rate of older vehicles, DoneDealers should pay careful attention to the validity of NCT certificates when it comes to investing in a secondhand car. See for yourself If you find a prospective buy in good condition at the right price, check the NCT disc on the car instead of relying on the date the owner says it last passed the test. Each NCT disc/certificate gives details when the car should next be tested. Here are some examples of how the new rules impact on cars which have undergone the NCT in 2011: Car 10 years old on 5 June 2011.

Tested on 20 July 2011.

Certificate will be valid to 5 June 2012. Car 10 years old on 5 March 2011. Tested 5 June 2011.

Certificate will be valid to 5 March 2012. Car 14 years old on 1 July 2011.

Tested on 30 May 2011.

Certificate will be valid to 30 May 2013. Car 12 years old on 4 May 2011.

Tested on 28 May 2011.

Retested with pass within 28 days on 16 June 2011.

Certificate will be valid to 4 May 2013. #Motor