Call for garages to be able to issue safety certs for cars amid concern over wait time for NCTs 

At the start of the month, there were 22,300 vehicles on the waiting list for an NCT test appointment and the RSA said there were also very high levels of customer no-shows and late cancellations.
Call for garages to be able to issue safety certs for cars amid concern over wait time for NCTs 

Denis Murphy of Blackwater Motors in Cork said that garages and dealerships are in a situation where it is taking longer to get cars on the road due to the long wait times for NCTS.

Concerns have been raised about the wait times for the National Car Testing Service (NCTS).

Figures released in response to a PQ submitted to the RSA by Cork North Central TD Colm Burke show that there were 12,768 people waiting for an NCTS across the country in February of this year, compared to 1,309 in February 2021 and 279 in February 2020.

Speaking to The Echo, Deputy Burke said that “something has to be done” about the situation.

“I don't know how you deal with it now because we need to have cars safe on the road and they’re not if they don't have an NCTS cert.

“We have people now who don't realise there is such a waiting time so if the NCT is expiring on July 30 you would want to be applying now for a date for the NCTS,” he said.

Recruitment challenges 

In response to Deputy Burke’s PQ, Director of Strategy, Policy and Technology at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) Denise Barry said that NCTS is “experiencing challenges with recruitment due to shortages in the labour market and competition from the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries”.

She said, however, that they are “continuously seeking to recruit and examining means of making vehicle inspector posts more attractive to boost recruitment”.

“NCTS is currently seeking to recruit an additional 50 inspectors. Longer schedules are being maintained and overtime is also being utilised to provide additional capacity.” 

On April 1, 2022, there were 22,300 vehicles on the waiting list for an NCT test appointment and the RSA said there were also very high levels of customer no-shows and late cancellations.

“In the period 1 January to 29 March this year NCTS cancelled 17,000 tests and customers cancelled 38,500 while in the same period in 2019 NCTS cancelled 200 tests and customers cancelled 16,000 tests.

“The average booking lead-time for Quarter 1, 2022 was 21.22 days.”

The RSA also noted that the quality of the test is not being compromised despite the backlog.

Call for garages to be able to issue certs 

Speaking to The Echo, Denis Murphy of Blackwater Motors in Cork said that garages and dealerships are in a situation where it is taking longer to get cars on the road due to the long wait times for NCTS.

“Being the new owners of the car, we need to schedule them [NCTS] when we trade in a car so we can’t book in advance so we’ve always been late maybe a couple of months getting the NCTS done but now it’s gone crazy, we’re being told September for an NCTS."

Mr Murphy said that their own safety checks and history checks are done on the cars that are sold and called for those in the industry to be able to issue a cert to the car owner to certify the safety check, to “get people on the road”.

“What we’d like to see is that we’d be allowed to issue certs just for the cars we’re selling ourselves or temporary certs to get people on the road, if they can’t do it we should be able to do it,” he said.

Mr Murphy said about half of the 250 used cars that are sold each month require an NCT which he said is “a pretty substantial amount” of cars that could be on the road but are not due to the backlog.

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