Testing times

Apparently it's that time of year again.

Normally I get a reminder through the post around December [the year before last it was on Christmas Eve] but this time around – nothing.

I was left to my own devices to discover that the car needs its NCT [MOT or car test to you foreigners].

The NCT is a recurring pain in the hole.  I do however agree that since it was introduced there are far fewer cars driving around with the exhaust pipe dragging along the ground and with only half a headlight working.  Seeing as I agree with the principle, it's hard to complain about getting my own done.

I realised recently that the car is due its test on the 9th of February.  A week?  Plenty time.

I went into their website to book a slot.  Nothing in February.  I tried March.  Nada.  How about April?  Dream on!  I got to May before finding a slot at 8:40 AM on the 9th.  If they think I am getting up before the crack of dawn to drive up to Dublin in the rush hour they can fuck off.  

I rang them.  I got on to a pleasant enough chap who made no comment when I told him I had never received a reminder.  He probably gets that all the time.  Anyhows, I am now on what they call a "priority list" which means they are going to send me a text when they get a cancelation or something.  This is a bugger on two counts.  The first is that they are bound to pick a day when I have something more important on, and the second is that I now have to keep the car clean all the time.  The latter is a physical impossibility when I have a dog who insists on traveling everywhere with me and who sheds gigantic quantities of white hair all the time.

My phone always seems to be out of power or I forget to check it, so it's unlikely I'll get their message anyway.

Technically it is illegal to drive without a valid NCT bit of paper on the windscreen.

Technically I will be breaking the law in a week's time if I drive.

Technically I will not be able to use the car for anything until after the test.

Fuck that.

It's their fault there is a three month waiting list, not mine.

They can kiss my exhaust pipe.   

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Comments

Testing times — 22 Comments

  1. You must have a wierd system over there. I ring local garage, take it in the day after, wait a week for all the welding to be done and collect it.

    It's one thing being ok with MOTs as there are less dangerous cars on the road, but when they fail you for having a number plate light out, its taking the piss a bit.

    • Taking the piss is not the expression!  Here a car can be failed if it doesn't have the letter "E" on all four tyres, for fuck's sake.  That is just playing silly buggers.

    • …wait a week for all the welding to be done and collect it.

      Heh! I remember all that shit only too well. It was always the sills that needed patching up. They must be designed to collect water inside so they can rot away unseen until the rust manages to break through to the great outdoors.

      The Irish system must be very odd. Don't they have garages licensed to do MOTs (or NCTs, if you prefer)? I'm assuming that the testing stations are all arms of government there? As Bucko says, in UK you can get it done at a moment's notice.

  2. The old bureaucratic Catch-22 then? It's illegal to drive without it but you can't get it either because of the bureaucrats and their meddling. Technically too, any Garda who stops you without one can impound your car. Mind you, I wouldn't like to be that particular young uniform on the day. He might hear words he's never heard before among other things.

    • It is indeed typical of this country – they introduce something new and completely fail to build the infrastructure needed to provide the service.  This NCT thing has been running for decades and they still can't get the damned thing right.

      Maybe when I finally get an appointment, I'll tell 'em they have to come out to me because I can't legally drive to them?

    • That finger involved a shed load of code to get right.  It had to go, though I might introduce it on the sidebar just for you.  Are you that desperate to be insulted?

        • The problem with it was that it was just a small change to a large image.  MouseOver replaces an entire image with another which would have meant two banners [relatively big files which take a noticeable time to load].  I also avoid Javascript as a rule as not everyone enables it.  I used CSS and had to divide the banner up into a number of discreet elements which was a tad messy [as WordPress only caters for one single element in the header], but I just wanted to see if I could do it. 

          Maybe I'll have a crack at it again and see if I can tweak the new layout!

  3. Buy a new one GD, splash out!! I bet if we went to pay our road tax and the system told us to come back in three months due to delay, that problem would be rectified quickly!!  PS just a reminder to ya, if the NCT cannot give you a test within 30 days then it is free, according to their charter. But they wont tell ya that!

    • I have a problem.  The car is now 12 years old but only has around 40,000 miles on the clock [genuine – I would swear it on the Kama Sutra] so any trade in that I could afford would get me a car with a higher milage.  Not very sensible?

      Thanks for the PS!  Excellent!  Charter, Paragraph 4.  Memorised.

      • 40k isn't much for a car nowadays GD but at 12 years old there would be many other things to think about as well, such as chassis/bodywork and any subchassis bearings etc (suspension, steering). You don't strike me as the kind of chap who crawls under it every weekend to clean out wheel arches and sills etc, not saying that yours would be in bad condition but worth considering the option of another car?

         

        • It gets a regular overhaul and is generally in excellent nick.  The only things wrong with it at the moment are a tiny leak in the boot [still there after all my best efforts but it's no longer a flood], a slow puncture which means re pumping one of the tires every fortnight, and the little cover flap on the ashtray is broken.  Apart from that, it's as new.

  4. It's just called an "Inspection" here in the States, it's a yearly thing and what exactly has to be "inspected" on a vehicle varies from state to state. Many states have official "Inspection stations" which tend to be scattered throughout not only in the cities and larger towns but in the middle of the woods sometimes. Other states, like Vermont for example, don't require official inspection stations and let the auto garages go through a certification process to become able to do state auto inspections if they wish. Most do.

    And then there's the "sniffer up the tail pipe" variations. Some states require it and some states don't. In some states, that was all an "inspection" entailed–how much horribleness you were shoving out the exhaust pipe, never mind that the the vehicle was a rusted hulk without enough metal to attach a license plate.

    For myself, it's a tight exhaust system, decent brakes, enough tread on the tires, no rust through holes into the interior, all lights working, no "Check engine" or idiot lights on that shouldn't be and a valid registration and insurance cards.

    Then again, we were talking about auto inspections weren't we? Not me.

    • Our test [set of course by the EU] consists of 62 different items which cover just about anything you can think of, including emissions.  They tried to fail me once because the car was full of dog hairs.  Another time they tried to fail be because my hub caps "required special tools" to remove them [they are clip-ons!].  It also costs €55 a shot to be insulted!

  5. Over here in La Belle France the Controle Technique is every two years but they go through everything, including the size of the tyres, especially if you have changed the wheels from the ones fitted out of the factory. If the size does not correspond exactly with what the manufacturers list, it does not pass and should you go ahead and fit something different e.g. a 225/50/17 instead of 215/50/17 and you are involved in a serious accident it can give the insurance a loophole not to pay and you get caned. Everything is looked at, perhaps with the exception of the air con and as GPS is to be fitted for the European wide Galilleo satelite vehicle tracking system from this year no doubt that will be included too. I drive around in an old diesel BMW but even though the emission numbers are a little less strict than for the latest generation it still has to run clean.

     

    • Presumably the test in France is much the same as here?  All happy members of the EU family together?

      A couple of years ago I had to replace four perfectly good tyres [the originals] with four new ones as the originals didn't have some fucking EU mark or other on them and were therefore deemed "illegal".  That really made me see red.

  6. Sounds about right. Over here if you run a French car things might get mentioned but unless its serious it stops there, German cars are respected, if you bring one in second hand from over there you have no trouble getting it registered, other European makes are OK, even British stuff but Japan and USA, unless it was bought from a French agent ho ho ho, have fun with that.
     

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