Let’s face it, if garages can be open for service and repair business, what possible excuse is there for our National Car Test Service centres not being reopened? It’s makes no sense that the National Public Health Emergency Team would recommend one could open and not the other.
The Government has also allowed the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing (CVRT) to partially resumed. Just as it is essential for vans, trucks and buses etc. yo be tested to certify roadworthiness for safety reasons, we cannot afford to have cars not being passed as road worthy.
Our information is that the NCTS has completed the replacement of vehicle inspection lifts that needed replacing due to corrosion or other safety reasons in its test centres.
The very profitable business that Applus+ has since January 2010 and having conducted over 18 million vehicle inspections across its network of 47 test centres, can also afford to put in place measures to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19. Applus+ has also been awarded the contract to continue the provision of the National Car Testing Service in Ireland from next month (June 2020) for a further period of ten years.
Yet, Shane Ross said a couple of weeks ago that driving tests and National Car Testing Service (NCT) tests are not likely to return any time soon.
The validity of driving licences and NCT certificates has been extended under the Covid-19 emergency measures.
In response to a question in the Dail on Wednesday, May 13, The Transport Minister Shane Ross said: “I think the reality is driving tests are very difficult to introduce under social distancing because the space between the tester and the driver is so close.
Anything that comes into that category would be very hard – and that includes NCT tests.
We will be guided about both of those tests by the National Public Health Emergency Team, but don’t hold out too much hope about driving tests coming back early.”
Commenting a couple of days later at the announcement of the phased resumption of Commercial Vehicle Testing on the possible re-opening of other RSA services, including the NCTS, the Minister said, “In April I extended the period of validity of roadworthiness certificates, licences and other certificates that were due expire from 28 March 2020 and couldn’t be renewed because of the suspension of many RSA services. While most customers of these services will not need to avail of them in the short term, because of these extensions, I do however want to see the phased reopening of the RSA’s services so we can contribute to the process of reopening Ireland’s economy and society.”
“Therefore I have asked officials in my Department and in the RSA to continue to engage with a view to producing a road map for the phased resumption of other RSA services, including the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), Driver Theory Test (DTT), National Car Test (NCT) and the Driving Test. This must be done in line with the Government’s road map for easing of Covid19 restrictions, published on 1 May, and in compliance with the National Return to Work Safely Protocol agreed by employer and worker representatives.”
Reopening of Road Safety Authority (RSA) services
At present the majority of RSA services are suspended until further notice. Following the publication of the Government’s road map for the lifting of Covid19 restrictions, we are studying this document and looking at when services might be able to reopen.
We will consult with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure the reopening of any services meets the government’s and health authorities’ guidelines to prevent the further spread of Covid19. As soon as this is completed, we will then be able to update the public on when services will restart.
We do envisage that when services reopen it will firstly be on a limited basis, with new protocols in place to meet health guidelines and where customers may need to be prioritised.
What the NCTS says:
NCTS apologise for any inconvenience caused by the suspension of testing due to COVID 19 and our thoughts are with those families directly impacted.
Since the suspension of testing, we have been working hard reviewing our operations to ensure we safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our customers and employees for when we resume operations. Some developments include:
• We have submitted a resumption plan to Government in order to resume services safely, this plan is aligned to both the Government Road Map and Health Guidelines.
• During the suspension of service, we have been continuing to repair and replace the vehicle inspection lifts in our test centres.
• The NCTS has now updated the new test due date for all vehicles that qualify for the 4 month extension as announced by Minister Shane Ross. Customers can now check to see their new test due date.
We understand you may have some questions regarding NCT Tests and we have tried to answer some of them below. Answers regarding your NCT Certificate validity can be found Here ( https://www.rsa.ie/en/Utility/News/Alerts/Coronavirus-COVIDID–19–No-Disruption-to-RSA-Services/ )
You can also access 43 questions with answers on NCT testing Here ( https://www.rsa.ie/Documents/Press%20Office/FAQ%20Suspension%20of%20NCTS%2028%20May%202020.pdf )
The full service will reopen when instructed to do so by the Irish Government and we ask that customers continue to check the NCTS website for further updates.