Does Car Insurance Cover Me Without A NCT?

Caeva O'Callaghan | September 4th, 2020

Is my car insurance valid without a NCT?

If your car doesn’t have an NCT certificate, this usually spells bad news. However, due to recent events, it may not. So, what does your car insurance have to say about it?

The long and short of it is, it depends when you’re reading this article. As of September 2020, the deadline on everybody’s NCT test has a 4-month extension because of COVID-19. If you own a commercial vehicle, there is a 3-month extension for the CVRT.

If you’re reading this after the extension period, it’s likely that government restrictions have returned to normal. This means your car will need to have a valid NCT certificate to be insurable.

In this article, we’ll answer questions like:

  • How does COVID-19 affect my car insurance?
  • My car’s NCT has run out – do I need to tell my insurance?
  • Can I get car insurance if my vehicle failed its NCT?

As this article was written during September 2020, the NCT process may have changed in light of recent events. Please refer to updated guidelines wherever possible.

The COVID-19 extension to NCTs

If you were due to submit your vehicle for an NCT from 28 March onwards June, your test date has been extended for 4 months.

If you were due to submit your vehicle for an NCT before 28 March 2020, you may now book for a test. NCT offices are now open.

For Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Test (CVRT), the extension is for 3 months. This gives you extra time to make sure your vehicle is up to scratch.

For example, if your car was due an NCT in August and you went online to book, it would give you a date in December. This is because test centres are currently dealing with those people whose cars were due for their NCT in April.

As of 2nd Sept 2020, all test centres are now open and operational, but it is important to check the NCTS website as changing circumstances may impact on this.

Vehicles with a test due date prior to 28 March and those who were unable to complete their test due to the defects discovered with vehicle lift equipment earlier in the year can book the NCT online.

By way of example, the NCT website details the changes as per below:

“A vehicle with a test due date on or after 28th March 2020 has now had their test date extended by 4 months “

Original NCT Expiry DateNew NCT Test Due Date
28th March 202028th July 2020
10th May 202010th September 2020
15th October 2020*15th February 2021

*Cars first registered on or after 1st August 2016 are not eligible for the 4 month extension. [source: NCTS website accessed on 2nd Sept 2020 https://www.ncts.ie/1115]

Roadworthiness is key

During the COVID-19 pandemic, travel was restricted. But even if you’re still out and about in your car, you will need to have insurance.

Your car insurance provider is aware of how the current situation impacts NCT tests. They will take it into account when processing claims.

This means that roadworthiness has become more important than having a valid certificate on hand. Of course, this is no excuse for not having an NCT if you were able to book one. In all situations other than a global pandemic, driving without a valid NCT certificate is illegal and any insurance claim is void.

But what does “roadworthy” mean? It means the responsibility is on you to make sure your car is fit for the road. This is because, at the current time, the NCT cannot do so.

Say you had a collision because your brakes were faulty due to wear and tear. The third-party aspect of the insurance claim will be paid but it is very unlikely that your insurance company would pay for the damage to your own vehicle since it was not roadworthy.

Guidelines for after COVID-19

Even after the pandemic is over, we’re likely to be living with an increase in safety measures. In simple terms, when booking your NCT test this means:

  • Ensuring your car is as clean and hygienic as possible before handing it over
  • Paying online instead of cash
  • Social distancing
  • Wearing a facemask, if you can do so

After the extension runs out, it will mean driving without a valid NCT certificate will again be illegal – and don’t rely on leniency. It is an offence to drive a car without displaying a National Car Testing Service disc, if the car is liable for testing.

Offenders will face Class C fines, as well as penalty points. It goes without saying that this will make your insurance invalid.

If you have any questions regarding the NCT and your car insurance call us and we can help!

You can pick up the phone and talk to our car insurance experts and we can guide you through any questions that you may have on anything to do with car insurance. We are available for calls Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

If you are looking to get an instant car insurance quote online, our quote system compares the Irish car insurance market from 13 leading insurance providers. We look forward to helping you find the right insurance policy for your car and specific circumstances.