The Portlaoise test centre had the highest pass rate in Ireland last year with 60% passing their NCT on the first go, according to new statistics published today by the CSO.
The test centre with the lowest pass rates was Carlow at 42%.
The NCT system has been the subject of severe delays over recent years. Drivers booking today in Cork will receive an earliest test date of next May.
In Blarney, the pass rate last year for vehicles stood at 56% while it was higher in Little Island at 59%. In Macroom, it was at 56% but lower in Skibbereen (51%) and Youghal (54%).
In Charleville, the pass rate was 57%, as it was for Killarney, Co Kerry, but this fell to 54% in Cahirciveen. Waterford had a pass rate of 58% while Limerick’s pass rate was 54%.
In 12 centres across the country, the pass rate for vehicles was less than 50%, including Enniscorthy, Derrybeg, and Monaghan.
The overall pass rate for vehicles in Ireland stood at 53%, which was 748,189 out of 1.4m vehicles tested in 2021.
The busiest test centre in the country was Deansgrange in Dublin, conducting 91,813 tests overall.
Junior Transport Minister Hildegarde Naughton recently met with the Road Safety Authority and said she was “very aware” of the challenges to meet demand and the delays that vehicle owners have encountered since the start of this year.
She said: “I have met with the RSA to convey the seriousness of this matter and my officials are meeting weekly with the RSA to monitor progress in reducing test delays, as well as supporting any appropriate requests from the RSA for assistance.”
Ms Naughton told the Dáil that work is under way to increase test centre capacity and restore the average appointment waiting time to an “acceptable level”.
She said that 22 vehicle inspectors had been temporarily drafted in from Spain while up to 100 non-EU testers can also be drafted in.
“With regard to qualifications, I can confirm that the temporary vehicle inspectors from Spain are qualified to Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI, level 5, which is the standard in many EU member states and the UK,” she said.
Elsewhere in the statistics, some 201,915 tests were conducted by the driver theory testing service last year, with a pass rate of 74%. Compared with 2020, the number of tests conducted increased by 63%.
When it came to the actual driving tests, there were 142,320 conducted across 2021 with a further 66,052 on a waiting list at the end of the year.
The average wait time for an invite to be issued to a customer was 7.9 weeks.
The average pass rate, meanwhile, was 55.2% which is an improvement on previous years.
In 2018, the pass rate stood at 52.5%. The average pass rate for men was 57% and 53% for women.
A total of 3.2m driving licences were held in the country at the end of 2021, of which 9% were learner permit licences.