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Three new test items added to the NCT in place

A number of changes have taken place to the National Car Test (NCT), as of 20th May.

1. OBFCM Data
In an effort to prevent Europe’s real-world emissions gap from growing, Ireland will commence the collection of On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring (OBFCM) data as part of the NCT from May 2023. The data collected will be shared with the European Commission (EC).

This is in accordance with EU Regulation 2021/392 where fuel and energy consumption data will be collected to ensure that the vehicle CO2 emissions and fuel or energy consumption values are pursuant to EU Regulations. The implementation of this regulation will ensure greater transparency for consumers.

Ireland will align with other European countries by implementing this new standardised approach of testing from May 2023 on all vehicles registered from January 2021. The ultimate aim of this regulation is to help contribute to reducing harmful emissions not just on Irish roads but also across the EU member states.

What data will be collected:

In accordance with (EU)2021/392, the following data will be collected by the NCT:

Manufacturer name
Year the vehicle was registered
Vehicle Identification Number
Total quantity of fuel and/or electric energy consumed
Total mileage/distance travelled
Additional data fields for off- vehicle charging hybrid electric vehicles may include:

Distance travelled (lifetime) in charge depleting operation with engine off
Distance travelled (lifetime) in charge depleting operation with engine running
Distance travelled (lifetime) in driver-selectable charge increasing operation (km)
Fuel consumed (lifetime) in charge depleting operation (litres)
Fuel consumed (lifetime) in driver-selectable charge increasing operation (litres)
Total grid energy into the battery (lifetime)(kWh)

How will the data be collected:

This data will be collected during the vehicles periodic roadworthiness inspection and will form part of the items inspected in the National Car Test. In order to check the environmental capability of the vehicle, this check will occur via the standardised OBD inspection which already forms part of the NCT inspection therefore no additional time will be spent by the Vehicle Inspector conducting this part of the inspection.

Customers who do not wish for this data to be stored, can opt out by emailing with the customer’s name, address, and car registration number. Please note this opt out will only be applicable to the current test cycle and not future tests and you must have a confirmed booking before you apply for the opt out option.

All data collected with be anonymised.

2. E-Call
Most new cars are now fitted with an emergency call system known as eCall. This built-in Safety feature is automatically activated in the event of an incident when the airbags are deployed or can be activated manually by pressing the button. When eCall is activated, the system or vehicle sensors transmit your vehicle location including the direction the car is travelling to a 999 operator. This reduces the time it will take for the emergency services to respond to you.

There is no need to check if your eCall is working, as the system will carry out a self-test each time the vehicle is started. In case of any fault, a malfunction indicator or message may appear on your vehicle dashboard.

This malfunction indicator is an important safety feature and if this illuminates, it detects a failure in the system and the vehicle will fail the NCT. This item must be fixed, and the vehicle presented at the NCT centre for re-inspection before a test certificate will be issued.

3. OBD – Emissions
In 2021 and as part of the NCT, OBD inspections commenced to retrieve the following data:

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Odometer Reading
Electronic Braking System (EBS) and Anti- lock Braking System (ABS) fault codes
From May 2023, and as part of the OBD inspection, fault codes detected that relate to emissions and the performance of the engine will form part of the vehicle inspection.

When an OBD error is detected, it will result in the vehicle receiving an “Advisory Pass” provided the vehicle passes on all other items being assessed.

The National Car Test (NCT) Manual detailing the new testable items is published by The Road Safety Authority and is available for download.