In these “pre-NCT” checks, you could very well end up paying them to check or fix something that might necessarily be a problem, while they could miss out on something that could fail in the test. While you will probably not get a guarantee that your pre-checked car will pass the NCT, the garage you use may show goodwill by fixing whatever it is causes your car to fail. But they’re not obliged to, so you could be unlucky.
The flip side of this is illustrated in this article from The Irish Examiner this morning. The story, available here, by Niamh Hennessy starts off:
ALMOST half of all vehicles tested by the National Car Test last year failed first time — with motorists shelling out more than €3 million in test fees. Of the 686,705 vehicles tested in the year, 355,708 or 51.8% managed to pass the test. Based on these figures motorists would have paid more than €3.2m to have their vehicles tested last year.
So, you could take your chances and not get a “pre-NCT” check done and possibly pay €27.50 for a retest, or you could pay up to €200 for a “pre-NCT” check, and still take your chances that you may not actually pass.
I can’t work out, nor does the article actually confirm, where this €3.2m cost mentioned comes from – presumably it comes from an estimation (or an unquoted number) of how may cars needed to get a retest costing €27.50. If every car that failed the NCT had to get such a retest (and not a free retest) then the cost would be nearly €9m.
I still think the advice in the original article referring to the NCT site, and the advice quoted in the article above, stands. There are certain things that you can do yourself that raises the chances of passing the NCT first time around – meaning you won’t have to pay out for a “pre-NCT” test nor for the €27.50 retest.