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Buying a second-hand car? Check the tyres…

Since April 1, all cars undergoing the NCT now have to face a raft of new checks which could see an increase in the number of cars failing the test. In particular, all tyres on cars submitted for the test now need to have an official “E” (or “e”) mark which designates that the tyre has been produced to comply with EU and other international tyre safety certification standards.

Since the new rules were introduced, tyre retailer, Advance Pitstop, has seen confusion among motorists about the new rules.

Eddie Ryan from Advance Pitstop, commented: “In the intervening weeks since the rules were adopted, we have seen several hundred people in our depots looking to change tyres because of the NCT regulations and more than half of the motorists had not heard of the new ‘E’ mark requirement prior to taking the test”.

According to Paddy Murphy of Continental Tyres Ireland: “Clearly, motorists need to make sure they are fully au fait with the requirements of the new NCT regulations in order to save themselves time and hassle”.

There is no retest charge for a car that has failed the NCT because of tyres that do not have the ‘E’ mark. The car just needs to be re-presented for the NCT with replacement tyres with the all important ‘E’ mark. The new NCT rules mean that potentially dangerous tyres that have been produced without any safety certification will now be identified and motorists will have to replace them with E-marked mainstream tyres that meet EU standards for construction and performance as part of their development.

“It should be pointed out that since 1997, it has been illegal to sell non e-marked tyres across the EU and since 2007, it has been illegal to fit them to any car. So we are seriously concerned that there have been so many cases of non e-marked tyres brought to light”.

“The message now to motorists is if you are buying new tyres, make sure they have the E-mark or indeed, when buying a second-hand car, check the tyres are compliant and if not, ask that they be changed before you purchase the vehicle”, said Murphy.

Other new areas covered by the NCT test since April 1, include exhaust noise, clarity of windows, rear registration plate lamps and reverse lights. Advance Pitstop, the nationwide chain of car service specialists and tyre retailers provides a full free pre-NCT check that will ensure that any car about to undergo the test is fully compliant.