NCT complaints over last-minute cancellations, broken number plates, and delays in getting test appointments

Cracked number plates, last-minute cancellations, and too little time to get a car back in working order were among the complaints made about the NCT last year.

The Road Safety Authority said they had received 88 formal complaints about the roadworthiness test in 2023 but that there had been a sharp drop in gripes since the year before.

In one, a person expressed disbelief that they had failed because there was a small break in the number plate of their car.

An email to the RSA said: “I own a 2005 registration car, very well kept and low mileage for her age. During September, I had extensive work done on her and I knew she would pass with flying colours.

“She was well presented: vacuumed, washed, and polished. Imagine my disgust when I was then told she’d failed because of a cracked front number plate! The number plate was perfectly legible.”

Another wrote of how a one-month limit to get their car back in order was not enough time during a cost-of-living crisis.

“That’s thirty days if it’s a new tyre costing €80 and thirty days if it’s a €1,500 bill. How is this enough time for people to save this money and get a car repaired in time?” they asked.

The Road Safety Authority said there had been a significant fall in the number of complaints they received in 2023 about the NCT.

A spokesman said: “In 2022, the RSA received 207 complaints, which has fallen to 88 in 2023, which we feel is evidence of the improvements in the NCT Service for the public.

“This is in a period where a record of 1.6 million NCT tests were completed in 2023. We expect that in 2024 the volume of customer complaints to the RSA regarding the NCT Service will continue to reduce, however, we will always aim for a service that provides a satisfactory experience to all customers.”