herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

More misery for motorists as NCT rises 10pc

Motorists will have to pay more for their National Car Test (NCT) from next month after the Minister for Transport approved a 10pc increase.

The fee goes up from €50 to €55 from February 1.

The cost of retests remains unchanged at €28.

The €5 increase is part of a strategy by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar to make the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which runs the NCT system, self-financing.

Dermott Jewell, of The Consumers Association of Ireland, said the increase would cause "significant difficulty for people," who had no choice but to get their cars tested.

"I think it's going to hurt a lot of people, together with all the other increases they have taken on board," said Mr Jewell.

"There has already been an increase in VAT and the (health) insurance levy will be passed on to consumers," he said. "These increases makes it very difficult for people to balance budgets."

The RSA is to hold an information campaign to let drivers know about the increased fee.

The NCT system has been in place since 2000 and and its primary aim is to improve road safety and enhance environmental protection by reducing harmful vehicles emissions.

The test is mandatory for cars more than three years old.

Cars aged between four and ten years must undergo the test every two years, while cars older than that must be tested every year.

The test is carried out by Spanish company Applus at 46 test centres nationwide. Its work is monitored by the RSA.

Last year 1.4 million cars were tested under the scheme of which 464,331 were retests.

Just over half -- 50.5pc -- of cars passed the test the first time in 2011, while just over 90pc of cars passed the retest.

hnews@herald.ie

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