Electroless nickel-phosphorus coating has been deposited onto plain carbon steel specimens by using an alkaline bath based on NiCl2 as source of nickel cations. The tribological behaviour under dry non-lubricated conditions has been evaluated by employing the pin-on-disc test method. Two surfactants namely sodium dodecyl sulphate and cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide were added to the EN bath for the first time in the similar kind of study. The influence of the surfactants on the hardness, friction and wear behaviour of the coatings was investigated and compared against the samples produced without addition of surfactants. Copyright © 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.