Most motor vehicles older than four years need a CT technical inspection, which is annual after six years. So how do you keep your vehicle roadworthy?

The annual technical inspection can provoke cries of horror. The check, known as Contrôle Technique (CT), even left one grown man in a state of emotional ruin (according to the Wurst, at least).

They needn't lead to turmoil, though, so long as you have the right documents with you and do a little vehicle prep before you go.

How and when to book a test

You'll receive a letter from the National Vehicle Testing Centre (SNCT) around eight weeks before your vehicle is due for inspection.

If you don't get one, don't fret. It may be because your vehicle isn't eligible because it's too new or it's low-powered, such as a moped (full list of exceptions here). However, in this case it will still need a valid registration sticker. You also don't need the letter in order to book an appointment. In case you're unsure if and when you'll need to go, check your certificate in the car.

You may also require an inspection under specific circumstances, including: significant modifications to your vehicle; following a major accident; importing a vehicle from overseas (especially outside the EEA and Switzerland); and, if you're requested to do so by police following a vehicle check. Sometimes something as basic as new tyres and rims also need to be included on your registration cards. It's better safe to be sorry, because I, Alannah, once failed due to 1.2 millimeters due to my winter tyre rims.

SNCT's main inspection sites are:

  • Sandweiler: open Monday-Friday 7am to 6.30pm, Saturday 7.30am to 1.15pm.
  • Esch-sur-Alzette: open Monday-Friday 7.30am to 6.30pm, Saturday 7.30am to 1.15pm.
  • Marnach: open Monday-Friday 7.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday 7am to 1pm.
  • Livange: open Monday-Friday 7am to 4pm, Saturday 7.30am to 1pm.

You can make appointments easily online via the SNCT website.

You can also book an appointment with DEKRA in Bertrange, LU KS in Lorentzweiler, or any from a list of approved garages. While these can be in more convenient locations, they're also more expensive so it's worth booking ahead for an SNCT slot.

Due to the Covid pandemic, SNCT have also set up a home control system for those concerned about limiting travel. It's open to everyone and costs €85.50 including vehicle transport and insurance. Book it by calling 26 15 62 333 or emailing homect@snct.lu.

How much does it cost?

Cars, pickup trucks and small vans cost €62.00, with a small discount for electric vehicles. Motorbikes cost €44, while re-tests are either €27 or € 33 depending on whether a second pit inspection is needed.

You can find a more detailed price list here.

How do I prepare?

Before the test, check your windscreen wash is full and wipers are resting in the right position. Check that all your lights are in full working order, including fog lights and indicators. Check that the vehicle contains a yellow vest, spare tyre and breakdown triangle. It's also worth checking the pressure of your tyres at the petrol station and ensuring that all the windows are clean and free from obstruction. A full list of what they inspect is here.

Your vehicle must be covered by insurance. You'll also need to bring the following documents:

  • grey registration card
  • previous technical inspection certificate (unless this is your first CT)
  • European conformity certificate for vehicles registered after 1 January 1988
  • proof of valid insurance (green card)
  • currently valid tax disc.

My vehicle failed CT! What now?

In the event that your vehicle fails the test, you'll be given a temporary inspection certificate valid for four weeks. At the end of this period you'll get a second chance at inspection, so use the period to fix any faults identified during the test.

The re-test will only look at faults previously identified, so as long as you remedy those, you don't need to worry too much about passing second time round.

During the temporary certificate period, you are only allowed to use the vehicle to travel between the inspection centre, garage, and your place of residence.

If your vehicle is in a state of disrepair, it may be more economical to get it de-registered and destroyed than paying to fix all the faults.