Test driving your vehicle

Is a road test mandatory for a Safety Certificate Inspection?


A road test is required by law for all Safety Certificate Inspections.

On the other hand, if Approved Examiner deems the vehicle to be unsafe to drive he can refuse to road test the vehicle.

This can be established from a visual check of a defect that affects the ability of the vehicle to be safely tested.

Items that must be validated during the road test are:

  • foot brake operation
  • park brake
  • steering
  • clutch
  • suspension
  • gear change mechanism
  • accelerator control
  • drive line condition
  • windscreen wiper/washers
  • driving position/visibility
  • exhaust system
  • speedometer and odometer operation
  • engine does not stall at idle

What happens if my car is unregistered, can you still test drive it?

An unregistered vehicle can be road tested for a Roadworthy Certificate Inspection.
The owner must have a completed a Department of Transport’s application form to register the vehicle.
Furthermore the vehicle is also required to have CTP (Compulsory Third Party Insurance) under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994.

A current insurance certificate (or cover note) is required.

Most importantly, both of these documents are to be present in the vehicle while the test drive is taken place.

Safety Certificate brake tests have changed over the past 12 months.

Due to the Online Safety Certificates for booked hire vehicles, GPS brake meters are now required.

The brake meter is used through a phone app. Therefore allows the brake meter reading to be uploaded onto the online certificate.

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