Ireland has announced that from 2020, all cars over 40 years old will be exempt from roadworthiness testing. This rolling exemption replaces a current fixed exemption from test for pre-1980 cars and is timed to take effect when the youngest currently-exempt cars reach 40 years old.

Additionally, from next month (May 2018), vehicles between 30 and 40 years old will need testing only every two years – the minimum allowed by EU rules.

Ireland’s NCT (National Car Testing) scheme is much newer than the UK’s MoT test.

Until 2000, Ireland had no compulsory roadworthiness testing of cars. The NCT was introduced that year, applying only to vehicles over four years old and initially was a bi-annual (every two years) test for all vehicles.

From 2011, vehicles over ten years old have, however, needed an annual test. Testing is undertaken at 47 dedicated test stations, all of which are operated by Spanish company Appulus Car Testing Services.

They are purely testing stations and do not do any repair or rectification work. As part of their contract, they must offer a test appointment within 28 days or, if that’s not possible, test the car for free.