A compact SUV manufactured by Skoda had the highest pass rate of any vehicle submitted for a NCT test last year.
An analysis of the results of NCT tests carried out on over 1.34 million vehicles at 47 test centres nationwide in 2018 shows that the Skoda Yeti had a pass rate of 81.3%.
Figures published by the Road Safety Authority show the Czech-manufactured car, which was launched in the Ireland in 2009, was one of only two popular car models to obtain a pass rate in excess of 80%. The other was the Peugeot 208 supermini which had a pass rate of 81%.
Other brands with high pass rates included the Nissan Juke, Volkswagen Tiguan, Dacia Sandero, Hyundai ix35 and Dacia Duster.
In contrast, the model with the lowest pass rate among over 160 leading models was the Hyundai Trajet with just 20% getting a NCT pass rating in the initial test.
Other models where less than a third of vehicles passed the NCT last year included the Vauxhall Vectra, Seat Cordoba, Chevrolet Kalos, Volkswagen Bora, Nissan Primera, Peugeot 206, Volkswagen Sharan, Hyundai Tucson, Opel Vectra, Peugeot 307 and Mazda 323.
“The results of NCT tests are really a reflection of how they are looked after and maintained by their owners rather than the performance of any individual model,” an RSA spokesperson said.
The RSA figures show that more than half of all cars failed the NCT on full inspection last year with lights, suspension, tyres and brakes the main fail items.
Only 49.2% of vehicles passed the initial NCT in 2018 – an unchanged rate on the previous year. The last time a majority of vehicles obtained the NCT on the first test was in 2011.
The RSA spokesperson said it was clear that many motorists were using the NCT to diagnose problems with their vehicles.
“From research we’ve found that around 30% of drivers use the NCT this way by taking faults identified in the test to go their mechanic and say ‘fix these’,” the spokesman said.
“It’s not something we encourage as the NCT is a basic check. It is far better to get your car fully serviced on a regular basis and is something that should save you money in the long term,” he added.
The analysis of the NCT test results shows a strong correlation between pass rates and the age of the vehicle with older makes more liable to fail the NCT.
There was a 77% first-time pass rate for 2010-reg cars and 67% for 2008-reg vehicles last year. However, the pass rate fell to 56% for 2006-reg cars and just 38% for cars registered in 2004 and earlier.
Despite the fact that a majority of cars failed the initial NCT year, almost 92% passed on the re-test. The RSA figures show 8.2% – or 56,085 cars – still failed the re-test including 1,667 vehicles which were classified as “fail dangerous”.
The most common fail item for over half of the most popular car models was “lighting and electrical” faults, while steering and suspension was the most common problem with a quarter of models.
“Vehicle and safety equipment” was the most common fail item with two Dacia models, the Duster and Sandero, while problems with brakes were the most common issue with a number of models including the Toyota Auris and Corolla and the Mercedes-Benz C and E series.
The oldest vehicle submitted for a NCT last year was a 1932 Rolls Royce which passed the test. Although not legally required to be tested, a total of 181 cars that were only registered in 2018 had a NCT, with 34 vehicles failing the test.
For the third year in a row, Kilkenny had the highest pass rate of the 47 NCT test centres around the country last year with a 58% pass rate. The centre in Castlerea had the lowest pass rate at 40.4%.