If you want to pass your NCT there are some very quick visual checks that you can make before attending the test that will dramatically increase your chances of passing first time. Just follow the helpful 10-Minute 10-Point guide below.
PLEASE REMEMBER: On the day of the test please remember to bring Your Drivers License (ID), the logbook (VLC), check oil and water levels, check your tyre pressures, make sure the vehicle is reasonable clean and the boot is clear. Good luck with your test!
Your 10-Minute 10-Point Check:
1) Reg Plates (Front & Rear)
Make sure they are secure, clearly visible, with no letters or numbers missing, are the correct size with the correct colour background.
2) Headlights and Parking Lights
Make sure they are working, clearly visible, not missing, not obscured, are securely mounted without broken lenses, are white in colour and don't contain any water or moisture.
3) Indicator Lamps
Make sure they are working, not missing or obscured, are securely mounted without broken lenses, don't contain any water or moisture and when switched on blink in Amber colour.
4) Tyres & Wheels
Check all 4 tyres and spare tyre. Make sure the thread depth is more than the legal limit of 1.6mm. Check for abnormal wear, damage or bulging on tyres. Make sure they are fitted correctly on the wheel rim and the valves are free of damage. Make sure all tyres fitted are the same size and are acceptable size per the manufacturers handbook. Make sure all wheels and wheel nuts are fastened securely in place and there is no excessive damage to the wheel rims.
5) Engine warnings, oil, water and coolant levels
Make sure that there are no engine warning lights on such as Engine Oil light, Water Coolant, Brake Fluid lights or Brake Warning Lights. Check the engine oil level with the dipstick.
6) Wipers and Washers
Make sure no wipers are missing. Check they are working effectively and clearing the windscreen to give the driver a proper view. Make sure that washer levels are topped up, washers are working and aimed properly.
Make sure the horn is fitted securely and is functioning properly.
8) Brake Lights
Make sure they are working properly, clearly visible, not missing, not obscured, are securely mounted without broken lenses, are red in colour and don't contain any water or moisture. Check that they are not brighter than tail lights.
9) Seat Belts
Make sure all seat belts are functioning properly. Pull out belts slowly and ensure they move with a smooth action, then tug sharply to ensure the belts react properly. Check that no seat belt is torn or frayed.
10) Registration Plate Lights
Make sure they are working, are not obscured, are white in colour and are without broken lenses.
Other Visual Checks you can make:
- Check the brake pedal is not missing its anti-slip fitting
- Check the brake pedal is securely fitted and not loose when moved from side-to-side
- Check the brake pedal action is not obstructed
- Check that brakes function properly and stop the vehicle smartly when depressed
- Check that brakes do not feel spongy when depressed
- Check the hand-brake lever is operating properly and not fractured corroded or excessively worn
- Check that seats are securely mounted and runners operate properly
- Check that drivers seat adjustments can be made properly
- Check that driver view is not restricted or obscured in any way by stickers or damage to the windscreen
- Check the internal rear view mirror is securely mounted, adjustable, not loose and has a reflective surface that is not deteriorated or broken
- Check that external rear view mirrors are securely mounted and surface is not deteriorated or broken
- Check that the speedometer is clearly visible from the drivers seat and functioning properly
- Check that there is not excessive play in the steering wheel
- Check that doors open and shut, lock and unlock properly
- Check bodywork and primary structural components for cracks, excessive damage, rust or corrosion
- Check that rear fog lamp is functioning, not cracked or missing and is red in colour
- Check that reversing lamp is functioning, not cracked or missing and is white in colour
In total there are 61 individual items that are tested during the NCT including visual inspections, mechanical & electrical operation, emissions, noise and physical condition. See the NCT website for further info. But in summary the following items will be inspected during the NCT:
- Reg Plates
- Exhaust Emissions and Noise
- Brake Pedals, Braking Operation, Brake Wheel Units, Mechanical Components
- Windscreen Washers & Wipers
- Rear View Mirrors
- Safety Belts
- Steering Wheel Play
- Doors / Locks / Anti-Theft Devices
- Disabled Adaptations (where fitted)
- Front Wheel Side Slip
- Rear Wheel Side Slip
- Front Suspension, Springs & Front Suspension Performance
- Rear Suspension, Springs & Rear Suspension Performance
- Towing Bracket Coupling (where fitted)
- Stop Lamps, Rear Lamps, Indicators & Reverse Lamps
- Rear Fog Lamps, Malfunction Lamps & Reg Plate Lamps
- Side Lamps, Head Lamps, Auxiliary Lamps
- Head Lamp & Auxiliary Lamp Aim
- Primary Body Structure (incl: sub-frame, chassis rails, door sills & pillars, suspension mountings, steering mountings, seat & seatbelt anchorage, floor panels, boot floor, bulkhead)
- Secondary Body Structure (incl: wings, bumpers, roof, doors, bonnet & bootlid)
- Tyre Condition, Specification & Thread Depth
- Spare Wheel & Carrier
- Brake Fluid
- Chassis / Underbody
- Steering Linkage
- Wheel Bearings
- Brake Lines and Hoses
- Shock Absorber Condition
- Electrical System
- Fuel System
- Transmission & Drive Train