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Imported car with valid foreign roadworthiness test - when to go to NCT?

  • 07-10-2022 2:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭

    Hi all, I recently moved here from the Netherlands and brought my car with me. It's now registered in Ireland, but it doesn't need an NCT until 20 June 2023, because that's when the Dutch roadworthiness certificate (APK) expires.

    Now can I still bring the car in for an NCT up to 90 days before 20 June 2023 (so any day from 22 March 2023 onwards), and then the NCT will be valid until 20 June 2024, or do I bring it in on the day itself (or as near as possible) and get an NCT that's valid for 1 year from the test date?

    I asked an NCT person on the phone but the answer didn't sound very confident. Wondering if anyone has experience with this situation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,663 ✭✭✭goochy

    it needs an nct straightaway once its irish registered

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,663 ✭✭✭goochy

    the fact it has a dutch roadworthy test means nothing in another country

  • Registered Users Posts: 77,928 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    I'd take it that it will be 1 year from the date you have it tested, the 90 day is unlikely to apply in this situation as it's not the NCT to start with. You can use the Dutch cert until it runs out.

    If the vehicle is 4 years or older, you must have it tested by the National Car Testing Service. You can use an EU Road Worthiness Certificate in Ireland until it expires. You have to take the NCT when your Certificate expires.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    You are correct that that will be 1 year after I had it tested in the Netherlands, however that is in itself not relevant. For example a German car would have a test that's valid for 2 years and would remain valid for 2 years, as per the text that you have quoted.

    A little bit further down the text gets pretty much repeated:

    [quote]If the vehicle is 4 years or older, you must have it tested by the National Car Testing Service. If the vehicle has a current EU Roadworthiness Certificate, you can have the time remaining on the certificate recognised in Ireland. This means you will not have to take an NCT, until your certificate expires.[/quote]

    This situation applied to my car (yes, the same car) when I imported it to the Netherlands in 2012, after buying it in Germany. It had a new TÜV (German NCT) and even though if tested under Dutch regulations the car would only get an APK for a year, the first time I had to get it tested was in 2014.

    However nowadays, at least in Ireland, the NCT doesn't actually replace the foreign certificate, so it's not in the system and I don't have a scrap of paper to put behind the windshield. In 2012 the Dutch vehicle registration service stamped the German certificates and the 2014 date actually showed up in the Dutch vehicle database a few days after I had imported it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Hmm quote doesn't work like on other forums. How do I do that properly, the way Atlantic Dawn quoted a piece of text?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 227 ✭✭Stephenc66

    There will have been a huge number of cars imported from the UK pre brexit with a valid mot. This should have applied to them also.

    It would be interesting to know has anyone here used the remaining period of time on a UK mot before testing with the NCT.

    Like others I always believed once imported and registered here that a NCT needed to be done straight away (if over 4yrs old).

  • Registered Users Posts: 77,928 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    Yes it did apply, I imported one myself pre Brexit and got exemption until the MOT was up. NCT were issuing exemption discs to display, you sent away to NCT for them, this then also updated the NCT system online to show it was valid until that date.

    They no longer issue the exemption discs and looks like no longer keep a record to update the system so it's a manual process of holding on to the foreign cert.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,845 ✭✭✭BronsonTB

    Do you not just swap your valid foreign cert for a valid NCT?

    The NCT cert will then show when it's due for renewal?

    Source linked here -

    BTB - Be grateful if you hit the 'Thanks' button on any of my reply posts, Thank you. - 3rd & 4th Aug '24

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Yes, but that has changed: (scroll down to question 20)

    So it's like Atlantic Dawn said, hold on to the foreign certificate. Since I don't have that scrap, I might get pulled over and will have to be able to present the Dutch certificate.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,469 ✭✭✭hoodie6029

    You can test up to 90 days before your expiry and it doesn’t change the expiry date. So you can get a cert that is valid for 15 months from March 2023.

    Always handy to go early, if it fails you have time to get anything fixed.

    Out of curiosity, what kind of car did you bring over with you?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Yes I always try to go early (which in the Netherlands is "only" two months), for the exact reason you mentioned. Last year my wife's car failed the APK on brakes and tyres being all worn, the guy didn't have time to fix it that day (obviously, it's a bit more work than changing a light bulb), so I had to come back for it. Still four weeks to spare by the time it was done 😁. (just to be clear: the APK is done by regular garages, not by a separate company like here; instead the Dutch authority, the RDW, retests a sample, when a garage submits an APK test into the system, the system might select the car for a retest by the RDW who then send a representative to the garage in question to perform the retest; so that way the RDW makes sure the APK is being done properly because you never know if the car is going to be selected for the sample and if the RDW disagrees with the garage the consequenses are strong).

    The car I brought over is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2. My wife's car, a Skoda Octavia 1.6 diesel we left in the Netherlands (still not sold 😣 ) because that's easily enough replaced here with something with the steering wheel on the other side (and the rest of the controls too). We ended up with almost the same car, same year, just with a lighter colour blue and with a bigger engine (2.0).

    And yes (before somebody mentions it) I am aware that I have to make an appointment soon. I made one a few weeks ago for the Skoda and the earliest I could get was 4 March while the NCT expires on 8 March or something along those lines. Kept an eye on the NCT website and at some point 20 January popped up for Greenhills, so I claimed that instead. Deansgrange would have been nice (is closest to us) but it's better than nothing. So for the Alfa I'm going to make my life easy and make an appointment in a timely manner.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 5,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭Raichu

    With the massive waits in some test centres you’d almost be best to book it now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Hmm maybe I should, actually. Deansgrange is already on 20 April, Greenhills too...

    Already had to go to Arklow to import the car, as the Dutch insurance was about to expire before I could get an appointment in Greenhills (didn't know if I had to go back if there was anything missing). Don't necessarily want to do that, or even further afield.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    21 april in Deansgrange it is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,309 ✭✭✭✭wotzgoingon

    How do I do that properly, the way Atlantic Dawn quoted a piece of text?

    Copy and paste the list of words you want to quote and then in comment box click the Backwards P and l on the left, then the 66 and then quote.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Copy and paste the list of words you want to quote and then in comment box click the Backwards P and l on the left, then the 66 and then quote.

    Like so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,469 ✭✭✭hoodie6029

    The car I brought over is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2.

    Very nice car. Worth bringing alright. Stick a picture up in the ‘post a picture of your car here thread’

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Thanks! Yes I had to bring it, I'm not allowed to sell it 🙃

    And difficult to find a RHD replacement (and for the shopping malls with their barriers we have the Skoda).

    I'll post a couple of photos soon in said topic. Right now I only have (recent) photos from the front and the back (before and after pictures of changing the number plates) and from the door that got smashed last week by somebody who was visiting our neighbour and whose car got "stuck in reverse" (his words, not mine) when he tried to put it in drive...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,663 ✭✭✭goochy

    you do know how expensive the road tax is ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Yes I do.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    So today was NCT day. The good news is, it passed. The bad news is, the NCT certificate I got shows an expiry date in September 2023 (a year after I imported the car here) and not June 2024 (a year after the Dutch test expires) or even April 2024 (a year after today).

    To be continued.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    So I phoned them, and the lady I spoke to advised me to send a letter and include both the NCT cert as well as last year's Dutch one which expires on 20 June 2023. Did that and today I got a new NCT cert in the post: expiry date 20 June 2024.

    All sorted now. Just leaves me wondering why it had to go like this, and also how many people in a similar situation don't appeal this and just go again in (in this example) September (disregarding the NCT backlog here as it's not relevant for the discussion).

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,309 ✭✭✭✭wotzgoingon

    Well great out come in the end. Hassle for you yes but that's the way things usually go here. Nothing is ever stream lined.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,525 ✭✭✭Buffman

    Good result. I assume the hassle is because they don't bother recording the expiry date of the existing test at the VRT stage so the date of registration is all they have, and since they stopped doing the 'exchange to NCT' service, there is no official procedure for you to tell them the correct expiry date, other than contacting them directly like you did.

    I'd imagine that there's so few EU vehicles being registered that they won't be in much of a rush to put such a procedure in place.

    If it was costing them money I'd imagine they'd fix it fairly quickly, but as you say, people are probably not challenging it and doing tests unnecessarily early so if anything it's making them money.

    FYI, if you move to a 'smart' meter electricity plan, you CAN'T move back to a non-smart plan.

  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭Arnout

    Well I also showed the certificate at the test centre, both to the receptionist as well as the tester. Neither one of them could give a sh*t.

    I don't know when they abolished the practice of recording the foreign certificate as "NCT", but if it was before Brexit then it would have involved quite a few cars at the time (am I correct in assuming that an MOT is no longer accepted here?).