NCT inspections are almost 100 per cent correctly assessed, says Paschal Donohoe

Sinn Féin’S Dessie Ellis claims inspector refused to test car because of dog hairs

MARIE O'HALLORAN Almost 100 per cent of vehicle inspections at National Car Test (NCT) centres are properly conducted, according to the Minister for Transport.

Paschal Donohoe defended the NCT against suggestions that vehicles were being failed "for revenue reasons".

Sinn Féin transport spokesman Dessie Ellis criticised the high failure rates and "the regular need for re-testing of cars over minor issues".

He said in one case “the person wouldn’t entertain the car because there were a few dog hairs in the car”.


Mr Donohoe told him “I can’t comment on any individual case but I would hope that inspectors would inspect cars in nearly all circumstances because of how important it is in terms of road safety.”

Test centres frequently receive unannounced visits and vehicle inspectors are observe undertaking tests, he said.

Check tests also took place involving vehicles just tested being immediately re-tested.


The results showed “over 99 per cent of tests are correctly assessed” and an independent appeals board was operated, run by the AA for dissatisfied motorists.

During transport questions Mr Ellis said “sometimes you’d get the impression that cars are failed and they’re being forced to come back for revenue reasons”.

And “in some areas the success rate is a lot higher than others” with long waiting times for tests.

The Minister said the number of cars being tested was at record levels, since he included the NCT into the fixed charge penalty system.

But the average wait time for a test in October was nine-and-a-quarter days and new test centres will open in the first half of next year, he added.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times