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13th Oct 2022

Mechanics from Spain and Philippines brought in to tackle NCT backlog

Fiona Frawley

exterior of an nct centre

The average wait time for a National Car Test has doubled since pre-pandemic times, according to the RSA.

RSA chief executive Sam Waide will tell the Oireachtas transport committee on Wednesday that the NCT Service have found it “increasingly difficult” to recruit qualified mechanics over the last two years, the Examiner has reported.

To alleviate pressure, the RSA intend to transfer 22 staff members from its Spanish operations to Irish centres. A further 44 staff have been recruited from the Philippines in the hopes of easing the backlog.

The backlog in NCT appointments is caused by a number of factors, according to Waide – the impact of the pandemic, which caused “significant” staff absences at test centres, along with with high levels of customer no-shows and last minute cancellations.

The Examiner also reported that a shortage of new cars has resulted in more people driving older cars on Irish roads, resulting in 1.5m cars requiring an NCT in 2022.

Mr Waide is also set to tell the committee that 118 people have lost their lives on Irish roads this year — an increase of 13 on the same period in 2021 and 10 on 2019.

The penalty for driving without a valid NCT is a fine of up to €2,000, and/or up to five penalty points and/or imprisonment for up to three months.

However, Gardaí have said they are considering the delays within the NCT service while carrying out roadside checks. If a car without a valid NCT is stopped, but the driver can provide evidence of a test having been scheduled, Gardaí will consider this when deciding whether to prosecute.

Header image via Facebook/NCT Ireland 

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