Which test centres are you most likely to pass the NCT in?

Highest pass rate in any vehicle test centre is 55 per cent, according to latest statistics

Kilkenny could be the best destination for those looking to pass the National Car Test (NCT), according to the latest figures.

In 2016 the test centre in Kilkenny passed 55 per cent of vehicles, the highest rate in the State, according to the statistics published by the Road Safety Authority. In total, 28,712 cars were tested in the county, of which 15,791 passed.

In second place for passing vehicles was Killarney (54.1 per cent), followed by Portlaoise (53.9 per cent).

The Clifden NCT centre in Co Galway, which tested 4,517 vehicles, had the highest failure rate at 61.3 per cent, followed by Monaghan (60.5 per cent) and Longford (57.5 per cent).


Across the Republic, a total of 1,465,702 cars were tested last year, with an overall pass rate of 47.2 per cent. The national failure rate was 51.7 per cent.

The figures also account for tests marked “no identification” (0.7 per cent nationally). Photo ID is required for a test to be carried out. The figures also show that 5,789 vehicles (0.4 per cent) were in such poor condition when they were brought to a test centre they needed to be towed away.

There was an overall rise in failures last year (51.7 per cent) compared with 2015 (50.7 per cent). In 2015, 1,492,179 cars were tested; a decrease of 26,477. The pass rate in 2015 was 48.1 per cent.

The top three centres by volume of vehicles tested in 2016 were all in Dublin. Deansgrange had the highest at 99,145 (pass rate 53.7 per cent), followed closely by Northpoint 2 at 98,051 (pass rate 45.1 per cent). Fonthill was the third-highest for cars tested (97,972) and had a pass rate of 43.2.

According to the NCT website, motorists are allowed to book a test at any of the 47 centres nationwide. In a statement to The Irish Times, Sinead McKeon, a spokeswoman for NCT operator Applus, said a number of factors can affect the outcome at different test centres.

“The age-mix of vehicles tested in one location compared with another and this can affect the overall pass rate for that centre,” said Ms McKeon.

"For example, 4-year-old vehicles have an average pass rate of 80 per cent, whereas 10+ year old vehicles have an average pass rate of 37 per cent."
The mileage a car has undergone can also be a factor, with higher mileage vehicles being prone to failure.

“This particularly affects some rural locations,” she said.

Other variables that influence pass rates at different centres include the prevalence of certain makes or models, differing use profiles of vehicles and the impact of different environments.

Poor road conditions also have an impact and can result in a more failures for brake and suspension problems in particular, said MsMcKeon.

Below are the top 10 centres for passes and top 10 for fails last year.

Top 10 for pass percentage

1. Kilkenny (55 per cent)

2. Killarney (54.1 per cent)

3. Portlaoise (53.9 per cent)

4. Deansgrange (53.7 per cent)

5. Abbeyfeale (53.4 per cent)

6. Ballinasloe (52.8 per cent)

7. Tralee (52.2 per cent)

8. Tullamore (51.9 per cent)

9. Carndonagh (51.6 per cent)

Top 10 for fail percentage

1. Clifden (61.3 per cent)

2. Monaghan (60.5 per cent)

3. Longford (57.5 per cent)

4. Derrybeg (56.9 per cent)

5. Cavan (56.4 per cent)

6. Carlow (55.9 per cent)

7. Fonthill (55.6 per cent)

8. Carrick-on-Shannon (54.7 per cent)

9. Castlerea/Naas (Tied - Both 54.6 per cent)

10. Mullingar (54.4 per cent)

Dean Ruxton

Dean Ruxton

Dean Ruxton is an Audience Editor at The Irish Times. He also writes the Lost Leads archive series