NCT delays are ‘absolutely unacceptable’, says Minister

Company running the service ‘needs to pay serious penalties’, says Jack Chambers

Delays for motorists in getting mandatory National Car Tests (NCT) for their vehicles are “absolutely unacceptable” and the company running the service “needs to pay serious penalties”, Minister of State for Transport Jack Chambers has said.

There is an agreement between the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the company involved, Applus, to hit a 12-day target this summer.

However, the average current waiting time for tests is 30 days and some people are reportedly not offered tests at some NCT locations until as far away as January.

Mr Chambers said this is probably an issue with the website which Applus needs to address.


He said the delays are “causing great concern to many motorists” and “it’s a complete failure by Applus to operate the service as per the contract with the Road Safety Authority”.

He told RTÉ Radio he has written to the RSA “expressing my ongoing annoyance with this dysfunction from Applus and the effect it is having on motorists but also on road safety”.

The Fianna Fáil TD added: “I think Applus need to pay serious penalties for this dysfunction and the non-performance of their contract.”

Mr Chambers said there is a dispute between the RSA and Applus on the penalties and that he has re-emphasised with the RSA the need for penalties to be paid “that goes into millions at this point”.

He said: “I think it’s important that Applus are held to account . . .

“They should be paying penalties and I think that needs to be brought to a conclusion very quickly.”

In relation to people seeking to book NCTs through the website and not being offered tests for several months, Mr Chambers said the issue has been raised with the RSA.

Mr Chambers said: “What I would say is to anyone waiting that is due a test in the next number of weeks – they should get on to the priority waiting list and they will get an appointment, a majority of them within 28 days.”

He said some 4,209 people have now received a free test since a customer charter was reinstated.

Mr Chambers predicted that “many more” will receive free tests “because the current dysfunction from Applus doesn’t appear to be progressing at the targets that they previously set”.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times