NCT changes on the cards

New proposals from the EU Commission will see all cars over four years old tested annually, while also bringing caravans, fast tractors and motorcycles into the testing net for the first time,

Cars between four and 10 years old are currently subject to an NCT every two years, but this will change to an annual NCT test, under new EU proposals. This comes as a further blow to motorists already suffering from record fuel costs, and staring down the barrel of significant road tax increases in December’s budget.

The EU Commission proposals will also make caravans, so-called “Fast Tractors” and motorcycles subject to testing in Ireland for the first time – necessitating substantial additional expenditure across the 46 NCTS centres nationwide.

The Irish Motorcyclists’ Action Group (MAG Ireland) claims that testing the nation’s 35,000 registered motorcycles cannot be cost-effective, as specialist equipment and operative training would be required in each of the 46 test centres across the country. With an average of approximately three to four motorcycles being tested per centre per day, testing is not economically viable at current rates.MAG Ireland has called for a full cost benefit analysis to be carried out on the proposals in the context of the Irish testing regime, something which has been provided for as part of the National Motorcycle Safety Action Plan 2010-2014.2