Book your test at West Auto Electrics


West Auto Electrics has been testing vehicles for the past 20 years and has built up a large customer base)

Founded 24 years ago by Tommy Leahy, West Auto Electrics Ltd has established itself as the number one VTN vehicle test centre in West Limerick.

Based in Gortboy, Newcastle West, the garage was previously a DOE test centre before joining the VTN network six years ago. West Auto Electrics has been testing vehicles for the past 20 years and has built up a large customer base in that time, primarily in the haulage, construction and agricultural sectors.

“We’ve been in this business since 1992 and have got great support from owners of vans, buses and trucks in West Limerick, North Cork and North Kerry,” Tommy explains.

“We’ve invested heavily in providing the best possible facilities for our customers, whose business we value and appreciate very much. When the changeover from DOE to VTN happened, we extended our premises and introduced a host of new testing facilities. We have two light testing bays and one heavy. Everything is computerised and state-of-the-art now.

“The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us. Our priority is to ensure that they are safe on the road. We work closely with the Road Safety Authority and Limerick County Council on safety issues.”

Open six days a week, West Auto Electrics’ test centre caters for all commercial vehicles, ranging from vans, 4x4s to buses, HGVs and trailers. Each of the testing bays are fitted with the very latest in computerised testing equipment, which comply with the latest EU regulations.

The centre’s technicians will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have before and after the test. Vehicle owners can relax in the waiting area while their test is being completed.

“Matt Behan, Francis Gaire and John McNamara are our dedicated testers,” Tommy says.

“They have many years of experience in that field. They regularly attend courses to keep up to speed with the latest developments and changes in vehicle testing.”

The rates for each vehicle category have been set by the Road Safety Authority and not by the testing centres, which don’t charge anything extra. They are as follows, (plus VAT):  light commercial - €70.86; ambulance - €94.52; truck trailer - €106.30; HGV (3.5 to 7.5 tonnes) - €94.53; HGV (7.5 tonne with twin axle) – €118.16; HGV (7.5 tonne with three axles) - €147.67; HGV (7.5 tonne with four or more axles) - €147.67; bus - €147.67; camper van (twin axle) - €70.86; camper van (three axles) - €88.58.

Customers are advised to book early to avoid disappointment. Tommy elaborates: “Our objective is to cater for everyone as quickly as possible. We don’t want to keep them waiting.”

The VTN (Vehicle Tests Network) is a network of test centres appointed in each county by the relevant local authority and is regulated by the Road Safety Authority. It is mandatory for commercial vehicles to be tested yearly. There are two classifications of vehicles – LGVs and HGVs. The purpose of the network is to provide a strong and vibrant network of test centres, which are required to operate to the highest international standards.

Each VTN centre uses the VTM (Vehicle Test Manager) software application which has been developed to satisfy the requirements set out by the Department of Transport for vehicle roadworthiness testing of both light and heavy commercial vehicles. The application was approved on January 23 2004 after a thorough testing process.

VTM is user friendly and designed to easily incorporate future enhancements and future State requirements and regulations. Because VTM was developed in conjunction with authorised test centres, testers and mechanics, the application not only satisfies the testers’ requirements, it supersedes them.

While best known as a VTN centre, West Auto Electrics also specialises in the servicing of cars and light commercials, truck plating, tachograph and speed limiter calibration as well as electrical and fuel injection repairs. In addition, the garage stocks agricultural, truck and car oils, batteries, antifreeze and filters to name but a few.

“We’re a one-stop shop for all your light commercial and trucking needs. We pride ourselves on our friendly service, reliability, value-for-money and excellence,” adds the affable managing director who employs eight staff between testers, mechanics and office personnel.

“We service all makes of cars and light commercials. We are much more than a test centre.”

West Auto Electrics has the distinction of being the sole Irish agent for Swd Lubricants. A German-based company, Swd have been developing, producing and distributing high-quality lubricants to oil companies, steel works, trans-portation services, agriculture, forestry and building sectors for the past 40 years. Their products meet national and international standards, and are carefully monitored in their own quality laboratory in Duisburg, which is the largest inland port in Europe.

Swd Lubricants’ products range in size from a one-litre bottles to 1,000-litre containers.

Recalling how West Auto Electrics became a Swd Lubricants partner, Tommy explains: “I got talking to an agent of theirs at a trade show in Paris a few years ago and he asked me if I’d be interested in selling their product in Ireland. I said I would be delighted to and we haven’t looked back since.”