NCT 2019

Our car is older than ten years so its NCT (National Car Test) must be renewed each year. Renewal of test for cars that are 4 to 10 years old is every two years and a new car doesn’t need to be tested for the first 48 months.

To book an appointment, go to their website enter your car’s registration number and follow the instructions. You will also find more information about where the testing centres are, how to prepare so you will more likely pass the test, check when your next NCT is due, and more.

As of January 2019, the test costs €55 (€28 for a re-inspection if the car has to go through the testing drive again, no fee, if it doesn’t have to). Beware, that you’ll need to give them at least 5 working days notice if you cannot make your appointment; otherwise you will be charged €22 for the first and €11.50 for a scheduled appointment for a re-inspection (credit card details are taken online while booking the test/s).

You will receive a booking appointment confirmation by email and/or text message (SMS). The confirmation will come along with helpful hints how to prepare for your NCT.

On the day of the test, bring along the Vehicle Registration Book, Registration Certificate or Licensing Certificate and your driver’s licence as identification. Also note that, on that day, the fee will be charged on your credit card.

Would you like to read more about this? Check out these links:

A post I have written in April of 2017: NCT in Ireland

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Shopping for Groceries

Here in Ireland, most of us will pick up smaller items, e.g. bread, juice, and milk, at the local supermarket. Depending on its size, there are one or more shops found within the village. Some of the stores are Centra, Daybreak, Gala, Londis, and Mace. Most of the time they are connected to a petrol station.

Supermarket chains, like Aldi, Dunnes, Lidl, Supervalu, and Tesco are located in towns. They will have a wider selection of items and sell many of these at cheaper prices; however, you will need to consider the travel distance to get there and back. Will the money spent on petrol be worth the travel?

Ireland has an abundance of farm shops which will carry local produce. You will find items like homemade breads, scones and marmalade there. Some will have a supply of poultry and most of them will sell fresh diary products like butter, cheese, milk and yogurts. They also offer Irish grown vegetables, salads and all sorts of fruit.

If you just recently moved to Ireland and you are curious about Irish baked goods, then take a look around in one of these shops. Most of the items you will find there are homemade by local people. You will get a taste of real Irish Soda Bread and the famous home-baked scones. By the way, your local supermarket might stock some of these local products as well.

And, in case you haven’t found a farm shop that is close to you, go ahead and do an online search: farm shop + “name” (of any town close-by or the county you are living in)


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Issues With Broadband In Ireland

In 2012, the Minister for Communications revealed the plan for broadband in Ireland. You can read an article about this in The Irish Times. Now, seven years later and in a more rural area, we are happy to be online at an average download speed of 23-25 MB.

Yesterday, though, we were having a(nother) troubled day in regard to the internet. The signal was cut quite a few times throughout the day. As of now we are not sure what had caused this, but we are happy to be back online and on a stable connection again – especially because Stefan needs internet for his work from home.

There are a couple of internet providers, here in Ireland. Honestly, most, if not all, of them will provide pretty much the same broadband service. Well, yes, the customer service might be different with some of them.

We are quick in judging and complaining when things go wrong, aren’t we? How about when things are working properly?

I’ve heard myself say before: “Things like these wouldn’t happen over there. In Germany, they are up to date concerning communication services.”

Oh, really? Are they?

Almost a year ago, I’ve spent a week in Germany. During that week I have bumped into mobile phones having signal troubles (including my own, yes, but not exclusively), internet connection being quite slow or even gone at times and even problems with the landline phones that were connected in my brother’s home. So, are the communication services more up to date in Germany than in Ireland?

Hm… I don’t think so!

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