THE highest proportion of dangerous vehicles were found in Dundalk and Mullingar (both 0.9 per cent) last year, according to a new report.
National Car Testing Service inspectors considered some 0.9 per cent of all vehicles tested in Dundalk, were not safe enough to be on the roads.
The cars that were deemed unsafe could not be driven away from the test centre as it it is an offence to drive such vehicles on a public road, with penalties ranging from a fine of up to e2,000 and penalty points to three months’ imprisonment.
Neighbouring Co Monaghan, also had one of the highest proportion of dangerous vehicles (0.8 per cent). Conversely, just 0.1 per cent of vehicles tested in Cahirciveen and Derrybeg were deemed dangerous.
The NCT annual report notes motorists in Dundalk (41.6 per cent), Tullamore (41.3 per cent) and Clifden (40.2 per cent) were least likely to pass at the first attempt.
Nationwide just over half (51.8 per cent) of all vehicles tested passed at the first attempt, a slight increase (0.3 per cent) on a year earlier.
Some 85.8 per cent of retested vehicles passed, down from 86.4 per cent in 2009. Motorists in Donegal (61.3 per cent), Charleville (61.2 per cent) and Cahirciveen (60.8 per cent) were most likely to pass at the first attempt.
Overall, NCT Service inspectors considered almost 5,000 vehicles to be in a dangerous condition last year. The service said that 4,920 vehicles, some 0.5 per cent of all those tested, were not safe enough to be on the roads.
The number of complaints from people attending test centres increased by almost 200 to 710 last year.
The report also shows the car testing service, which is operated by Applus Car Testing Service Ltd, had to pay a e720,000 underperformance adjustment.
This came when it was fined by the Road Safety Authority for failing to fulfil a duty to provide appointments to customers within 28 days.
The service was also forced to give free tests to 17,000 customers (which would have earned it e850,000) to compensate for the backlog.
The report states testing capacity was stretched for much of the year because a higher than expected number of tests due to be completed in late 2009 spilled into the early part of last year. However, the service made a pretax profit of e971,997 for the year on turnover of e43.1 million.