More cars than ever failing NCT test

More cars than ever are failing the National Car Test (NCT) new figures show.

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A total of 52 per cent of cars – or more than 650,000 – did not pass the test last year, including 4,500 unroadworthy cars that had to be towed away from test centres.

The ageing national fleet – now 8.5 years, on average – and the cost of maintenance are likely to be key factors behind the increase, according to experts.

The NCT test is mandatory for cars more than three years old. Cars aged between four and 10 years must undergo the test every two years, while older cars are required to undergo the test annually. Levies from the test have risen sharply over recent years, with motorists paying more than €19 million in testing fees during 2013. The fee for a full test is €55 and a re-test costs €28.

Latest figures show a variation of almost 30 per cent in pass and fail rates across the 47 test centres nationally. The average pass rate per centre was 48 per cent. One of the highest pass rates was recorded in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry (67 per cent), while one of the lowest was in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim (39 per cent).

The biggest reason for failing was an issue with the front suspension (83,833), followed by tyre condition (71,525), brake lines/hoses (65,704), stop lamps (56,715) and steering linkage (54,001).

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