Over half of cars fail NCT between January and June

More than 750,000 motorists take the test with nine out of ten passing retest

Over half of the cars taking the compulsory National Car Test (NCT) in the first half of 2014 failed it, new figures have shown.

The figures published by NCT operator Applus continue a trend of a more than 50 per cent fail rate which has emerged in the past three years. The number of new cars being purchased fell sharply when the economic crisis hit.

Over three quarters of a million motorists took the safety test with 50.6 per cent (381,822) of cars failing between January and June this year. Despite this nine out of every ten cars passed the retest .

So far this year the main reasons for failing the test have been front suspension, tyre condition, problems with the brake line/hoses, broken brake lights (stop lamps) and steering linkage issues (part of a steering system that connects with the front wheels).


However the percentage of vehicles failing the test is slightly down on this time last year, when it was 53 per cent. Back in 2007, just 47.7 per cent of cars failed the obligatory test.

A further 2,646 vehicles were deemed dangerous (0.4 per cent of cars tested) - this means they have a defect that constitutes a “direct and immediate risk to road safety”and the car cannot be driven away unless repaired.

This year the cars due for their bi-annual test are 2010, 2008, 2006 cars while vehicles with 2004 and older registration must complete an annual test.

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery is Deputy Head of Audience at The Irish Times