Important Carjam Update

11-May-2011 News

Carjam’s goal has always been simple – to provide the public with free vehicle data.

Although there have been many changes that appeared to have erased that possibility, we have introduced some new features that will see an eventual return to free reports whenever we can do that, which are explained at the end of this email. Please read the following information carefully as all of these changes affect you, our valued customers.

Over the past five months the NZTA have introduced many new changes to the way in which Carjam can provide vehicle data. These changes have at times produced confusion and disruption to our Users, and we have decided to write this release to clarify exactly how these changes affect what you receive in your reports.

On January 1st 2011, the NZTA imposed a “User Pays” system to access vehicle data from the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR). This ‘public’ register is paid for through licensing, WOF and other vehicle fees. As you are aware this created significant outrage and together with our Users we created a petition which gathered more than 25,000 signatures and more than 5,000 personal emails to Minister Stephen Joyce. Although our voices were – quite incredibly – not heard, your support was overwhelming and humbling.

The result of these changes meant that Basic Facts data incurred a fee. To offset this, we decided that we would give our Users 3 free reports per month, for which we would absorb the cost as a sign of good faith and appreciation for all your support. We also introduced business accounts at a considerably reduced rate to ease the burden on our frequent users who were now faced with extra running costs for their businesses and were reliant on that information to survive.

On May 1st 2011, the NZTA introduced a new law, an amendment to the Land Transport Act, which would ‘significantly restrict access’ to ownership information. This new law means that full ownership information can only be given for the following purposes:

  • enforcement of the law
  • maintenance of the security of New Zealand
  • collection of charges imposed or authorised by an enactment; and
  • the administration and development of transport law and policy.

If you are registered under the Motor Vehicle Trade Register (MVTR) or the Financial Services Provider Register (FSPR), you can apply through us to have access to that information under terms and conditions set by the NZTA. You can now also find these in our Terms & Conditions.

What does this mean for the casual public user?

Under this new law, the public no longer has access to personal information. You can however use Carjam to “Confirm Ownership”. To do this, click on the link shown on our home page and you will be asked to enter: a) an owner’s surname, and b) their first name or date of birth, and you will receive confirmation of whether the ownership identity is correct. Company details will remain available.

On May 1st 2011, the NZTA also introduced additional fees for ”Outstanding Road User Charges and History (RUC)”, which has always been included in the Basic Facts reports.

All these changes forced us to rethink our pricing many times this year – as a result the following table outlines all the prices for report components from Carjam as of today:

Report Casual Price Member Price Account Price
Basic Facts 2.99 1.99 0.20
Ownership History 2.99 1.99 0.99
Vehicle Valuation 4.99 3.99 2.99
Outstanding Road User Charges and History 1.99 0.99 0.39
Money Owing on Current and All Past Plates 6.99 5.99 4.99

This means our Registered Users will now be getting a comprehensive vehicle report for $9.97 – less than $10.00!

Despite having to charge for things that we don’t want to, our goal remains to provide the public with as much free vehicle data as we can.

Therefore, we have introduced some changes of our own!

Over many months, we have been ‘storing’ all the data from the reports our Users have queried. From now on, when you enter a number plate into our system, it will search this database, and if we have it – we will give it to you for free.

Many of our Users want static information – things that do not change over time, such as VIN and chassis numbers. These free reports will fulfil that function where we can provide them.

However, as this data is stored at the time it is queried, some ‘non-static’ data (such as license and WOF expiries) may be out of date. Please check the timestamp at the top of the report carefully to see how old it is. If you need an updated report, you can still purchase this or use a free lookup by clicking on ‘update’ in the report.

Our ‘Stolen Check’ information is automatically updated in both free and paid reports. There is no additional charge for this information.

Changes to CarJam

You will have noticed changes to the way our site looks and operates. We understand that the integration of these new NZTA changes has at times produced frustration and we apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

However we have taken your comments on board, and have now created what we hope is a more user friendly tool to access vehicle data.

Your feedback is important to us, so please continue to let us know how we can improve and serve you better.

Kind regards,

The Team at Carjam

15 responses to “Important Carjam Update”

  1. David Jones says:

    This will help heaps. Thanks

  2. James says:

    Well done with the up dates keep them comming, great to have the photos!

  3. andrew says:

    great to see someone is doing something for free, its stink the the goverment try and make money out of people just trying to find out if there car is a lemon!

  4. Ruth Jenkins says:

    Hello, I recently purchased a 1994 Toyota Corona. Regn plate no. SO8465. What sort of information, could I have sourced from you on a free basis, prior to me buying this plese.?
    thanks in advance, Ruth Jenkins

    • Paul says:

      Hi Ruth – just register with the site (its free) and then lookup the plate to see what you get from us in the Free report 🙂

  5. Richard says:

    It appears some previously free information ( 3 free lookups allowed each month ) has gone, and now costs money. This is the car licence info, whether it is currently licenced or not, and the WOF situation, whether it has a current PASSED WOF or not.
    Am I correct that you have removed this free information, and why.
    Also, under the previous system, if someone else had looked up the vehicle using their free lookup,
    anyone else could get the standard info free up to the date of the previous person’s lookup. Has that system gone now ?

    • kate says:

      Hi there and thanks for your post. Carjam changed to a new system and site today, and as happens with changeovers, there are a few glitches that we couldn’t predict. The three free per month are still in action, and hopefully this will be resolved over the weekend. Please bear with us! Kind regards, the Carjam Team.

  6. Nigel Cooper says:

    We had about 60 free car jam reports available. What is happening to these? Your current site does not offer me these any more.

    • kate says:

      Hi Nigel,

      Carjam is still giving the three free for plates not in our cache. We have also introduced a new feature called Favourites which allows each User to add a select number of plates that they wish to keep updated. Carjam will then automatically pull this fresh information from the NZTA on a regular basis so you will no longer have to use your freebies on ‘updates’. The goal has always been to return to a free data model, and we believe we are well on our way to accomplishing this for our customers. As freebies are funded by Carjam (and we have almost 200,000 Users!) there will be occasions when we will have to make changes in order to not pass that cost on to our Users. Hopefully the new favourites feature offsets the loss of free updates 🙂

  7. matt says:

    Do i still get the 3 free look ups per month as when i click on get report it wants me to buy a report.


  8. Shona says:

    How do I get hold of you to report an error on a vehicle that I looked up. By complete chance, the vehicle’s photo showed one of our fleet vehicles (an unathourised photo) that is NOT the model or year of vehicle described and should not be used to help with the vehicle’s description. Would appreciate your response.