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Steering through the virus

Covid-19 is having an impact on the delivery of motoring related services, writes Geraldine Herbert

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Testing times: NCT testing is going ahead but there are a few guidelines to be followed

Testing times: NCT testing is going ahead but there are a few guidelines to be followed

Testing times: NCT testing is going ahead but there are a few guidelines to be followed

Driving tests: The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has suspended all driving tests since March 13. Those who had a driving test scheduled during this period will have the test rescheduled free of charge. All centres are operating as normal for the Driver Theory Test (DTT).

National Car Test

All NCT Centres are operating as normal but the following guidelines have been issued by the NCT.

1) Once checked in, please return to your car and wait until advised that it is your turn to enter the building.

2) We are taking these measures in line with the social distancing guidelines that have been issued by the HSE

3) We also ask that you please ensure your vehicle is clean, tidy and free of unhygienic matter such as used tissues and wipes.

4) Ensure that the air vents in your car are closed and the fans are on low settings.

5) We also ask that customers pay by card where possible to reduce the chance of cross infection by using cash.

Fuel Supply

The Irish Petroleum Industry Association is assuring motorists that there will be no disruption to supply of petrol or diesel over the duration of the Covid-19 period and beyond.

Servicing, repairs

Most car dealers are open and working normal business hours but this is reviewed  on a daily basis so you should call your dealer prior to visiting.

New Cars

With production due to be paused at many car manufacturing plants across Europe, there is likely to be delays in the supply of new cars over the next few weeks or even months.

Driving Licence

Visits to the National Driving Licence Centre are by appointment only and must be booked by visiting www.ndls.ie. The NDLS is prioritising customers whose licences are due to expire within two to three weeks. Ideally all applications that can be done online should be. Those aged 70 or over no longer require a medical cert from their GP, except in cases where they have a pre-existing medical condition. A full list of specified diseases and disabilities which need to be reported on application for, or renewal of, a driver licence can be found on the website.

Motor Tax

All government offices are closed until further notice so only online renewal of motor tax is now possible.

Car Finance

If you have bought a car through a Personal contract plan (PCP) or hire purchase (HP) and are in financial trouble due to the impact of the coronavirus, go back to your lender and explain your situation. Ask them to restructure the loan agreement or to defer the payments for a couple of months.

Tolls

Toll operators around the country are fully operational. However, as part of restricting the spread of Covid-19, motorists are encouraged to switch to using a toll tag, lessening the need to handle cash at the toll plaza.

If you're using the Port Tunnel or Tom Clarke Bridge,  be aware that only electronic toll tags and coins (exact change) are being accepted at the moment.

Cards and notes cannot be used.

Sunday Independent