NCTS Update: NCTS Continue to Prioritise SPSV Bookings

17 February 2020


“Update 14th February 2020

The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has completed the detailed condition survey of all 106 vehicle lifts operating throughout its network of 47 centres. It has also agreed an action plan with the lift manufacturer which will see lifts identified with defects repaired and brought back into service between now and the end of April. It is anticipated that at this stage full testing will be available on 100% of test lanes in centres.

To date the NCTS has been able to operate 20% of the test lane network. Eight lifts were given a green light to continue testing last week and 13 new lifts have been delivered and have replaced defective lifts this week. The deployment of these new lifts was based on population and geographical demands.

The full condition survey identified that there are now 85 lifts in need of repair. These lifts have a similar defect on the scissor lift arm that requires a repair and replacement of a part.

NCTS has now agreed with the lift manufacturer a full repair programme of each of the remaining 85 vehicle lifts that are still temporarily suspended. This repair programme will commence across the network on Monday 2 March. This is to allow time for the production and delivery of the replacement part. It is anticipated that the repair time for each lift will be approximately 2 days.

“Our aim is to ensure that we have lift availability in most centres as soon as possible. We expect that 50% of test lanes will be operating by the end of March and 100% by the end of April. The table below outlines how we anticipate the full network returning to full operation. The NCTS can also confirm that the replacement programme for all repaired lifts will commence in June 2020.” Said Mr. Grant Henderson, General Manager, NCTS.

Timeframe Test lane operational

(out of 106)

Test Centres with Lifts Operational (out of 47)
18th February 2020 20% of test lanes fully operational 14
End of March 2020 50% of test lanes fully operational 44
End of April 2020 100% of test lanes fully operational 47


He added that “Whilst we are making progress, we would like to stress that not all lifts in test centres are operating, therefore most customers are receiving a partial inspection only. However, we continue to ensure that those who are due a driving test or a taxi NCT roadworthiness test are receiving a full inspection.” (emphasis added)

As centres come back into full operation, NCTS is planning on recruiting additional Vehicle Inspectors and increasing the operating hours of test centres to accommodate all customers who have an underbody inspection outstanding.

Where customers are waiting to undergo an underbody retest inspection only, we ask that they refrain from making any further retest bookings until NCTS confirm that you should do so. We will contact customers regarding the completion of their test.

NCTS is urging all customers that are due an NCT to continue to prepare, book and turn up for their NCT as normal. The test will be completed with the omission of the underbody inspection, which will be conducted later when the lifts are returned fully to use. No additional fee will be incurred by the customer for this inspection.

Due to the current situation, we are asking customers not to book too far in advance to alleviate the demand on the test centre network at the moment.

The NCTS, in conjunction with the RSA, is continuing to examine other measures to minimise customer inconvenience and a further update on this will be announced shortly.

All vehicle owners are reminded that the roadworthiness of their vehicle is always their responsibility. In addition, motorists who have completed a partial test and are waiting to complete the underbody inspection are being advised to keep a copy of their Vehicle Inspection Report with them in order to present it to a member of An Garda Síochána, if required. This report has been amended to clearly show that the status of the test is ‘Incomplete’ (previously this had indicated a ‘Fail’).

“Our NCTS staff are working very hard to try and accommodate all customers who are presenting for inspection and where possible they are doing their best to inspect customer’s vehicles in full. NCTS would like to apologise to all our customers for this inconvenience and we ask that customers please bear with us through this as we are endeavouring to restore normal service as soon as possible.” Concluded Mr. Henderson.

Further updates will be provided on the website over the coming days.”