Age is the biggest factor in passing NCT; 50% of pre-2009 cars fail test

One of the lesser known models of Japanese car manufacturer Nissan recorded the highest pass rate of all cars tested at NCT centres in Ireland last year.

An analysis of almost 1.4 million NCT results for 2019 shows the Nissan Pulsar had an overall pass rate of 84.5% for the full test.

Other makes with pass rates of 80% or higher were the Mazda CX-5, the Opel Mokka and Skoda Rapid, according to the Road Safety Authority.

The most common model – the Ford Focus – had a pass rate of 46.9%, with almost 78,000 cars tested.

Several models, whose average age was 12 years or older, had pass rates of less than 30% including the Seat Cordoba, the Chevrolet Kalos, Volkswagen Bora and Vauxhall Vectra.

Among car manufacturers, Dacia emerged with the best pass rate, with various makes of the Romanian brand collectively having a pass rate of 68.9% followed by Lexus (60.0%) and Skoda (56.7%). Chevrolet had the lowest pass rate at 31%.

However, the figures show that the age of a vehicle, rather than its make or model, is the most significant indicator as to the likelihood of a car passing its NCT.

For example, the average age of Dacia cars which underwent a NCT last year was 2015.

Cars manufactured in 2015, which were having their first mandatory test after four years, had a pass rate of 80% but this decreased to 74% for 2014 models and 71% for those with a 2013-reg plate.

The pass rate fell below 50% for all cars from 2009 and earlier years.

Only five of 16 pre-1960 vehicles submitted for the NCT passed the test.

Overall the RSA figures show 50% of vehicles passed the full test last year – up from a pass rate of 49.2% for the previous two years.

A total of 1.39 million cars were submitted for the test during 2019.

Among over 695,000 vehicles which failed the full test were 92,523 which were classified as “fail dangerous” – which equates to 6.7% of all cars checked by NCT testers.

The most common fault identified in cars submitted for a NCT last year was front suspension with defects found in 8.4% of all vehicles.

A Rolls Royce from 1932 was the oldest vehicle to pass the NCT last year.

However, the oldest car submitted for the test – a 1929 Plymouth, a brand manufactured by US car-maker, Chrysler – did not fare as well as it failed on a number of test items including vehicle and safety equipment, steering and suspension, lights and tracking.

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