Preparing a Car for the NCT

An valid NCT is required by law, and if you are selling your car, it will increase the value. Official figures produced by the National Car Testing Services (NCTS), show that in 2013, 53% of cars failed the test. 90% of these cars later went on to pass the re-test. Our experts at Used Car Buyer have put together a list of things you can do to prepare your car for the NCT to give it the best possible outcome. Please note, these alone may not be enough as you could have other mechanical issues going on.

1. Clean The Car Exterior And Interior

A clean car will show the NCT tester that you take pride in your car. It’s important to clean the windows, mirrors, lights, and to make sure the registration plate is not damaged. You should also clean the underneath of the car.

2. Remove Belongings

Make sure to clean out the car and the boot so they do not get in the way of the tester. Examples of items you should remove include car matts, and car seats. Examples include furry dice, car matts and child seats. If a child seat is left in the car, then the tester is required to make sure the child seat is fitted correctly. If it is not fitted correctly, you can fail the test.

3. Check Your Lights

It is important that you check your lights before the test, even if it means a trip to the garage. A massive percentage of cars fail due to blown light bulbs. When your car is running check all lights including, parking lights, indicator bulbs, dipped and main beam headlights, front and back, lighting on registration plate, brake lights and fog lights.

4 – Top up Fluids

It is very important that you check all fluids before the test, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, windscreen wash, power steering fluid. These are usually labelled under the bonnet. You can easily do this yourself without going to a mechanic.

5 – Do Not Ignore Warning Lights

Look out for any warning lights on the dashboard. If you see any warning lights you will have to bring the car to a mechanic. Ignoring warning lights will result in an instant fail. If your car is pulling to one side or you notice a clicking noise, you will have to sort the issues before the test.

6 – Inspect Your Tyres

It is essential that you check your tyres are up to standard before the NCT, not just for the test, but for road safety as well. Bad tyres are a common reason cars fail the test. Also, check the tyre pressure and ensure they are within the right pressure. Finally, measure the depth of your treads.

7 – Final Car Checks

The NCT require that the wheels of your car are visible, so if you have hubcaps, make sure to remove them. Test your wiper blades and replace them if needed. Take your car out for a spin before the test to make sure your engine oil is the right temperature. And of course, arrive on time.

8 – The paperwork

On the day of the test, you have to bring all of the cars documentation with you. NCTS centres accept cash, debit cards and most credit cards. If you haven't paid online, make sure to bring your card or cash with you.

Finally, if you do not have proper identification, the test cannot go ahead. A driving license or passport is suffice. Also, you do not have to be the owner of the vehicle to put a car through an NCT test.