How does CarJam provide free Basic reports?

01-Jul-2013 FAQ

The short version:

1. Where a vehicle is not already in our cache (free data) registered users can use  three free Basic reports per month which will pull current data from the Motor Vehicle Register, at Carjam’s expense.
2. Where a vehicle is already in the cache and the WOF and rego are still current, we display the expiry dates. No update needed by User.
3. Where a vehicle is already in our cache and the WOF and rego are expired, we no longer show any dates, as this was confusing many users. In those instances, a User will now have to purchase a report at their own expense to access up to date information from the Motor Vehicle Register. These changes have become necessary as Carjam is currently paying for the “free” reports and is no longer able to absorb that cost in delivering millions of reports per month.
4.Users can choose and allocate a certain number of vehicle plates as ‘favourites’. Carjam will then pay for these select plates to be regularly updated so the users will no longer have to ‘update’ them manually and the user will be sent alerts to remind you that a WOF, rego or COF is nearing expiry. These alerts/favourites are not free to Business Account users.

The longer wordy version:

In December 2010 the New Zealand Transport Agency (“NZTA”) began imposing a fee of 16c for queries from CarJam to the Motor Vehicle Register (“MVR”) for Basic vehicle information like WOF, COF, rego and basic vehicle details  – previously these queries had been free allowing CarJam to provide unlimited free basic reports to the public.

To provide the maximum amount of free data to the public despite these government charges CarJam puts all the queries we do into a cache of data which we can provide at no cost. Its like recycling old reports.

We provide 3 free basic reports per month to registered users of CarJam and these free basic reports can be used to look up any plate which is not currently in the cache of previous queries.

Of course some of the data in these cached reports like WOF, rego, license gets stale and needs to be refreshed. Refreshing these stale reports requires a registered user to purchase a full report – we use the money paid for these reports to fund the hundreds of thousands of free reports we provide to users – those “free” reports actually cost 16c as mentioned above.

Alternatively you can add a plate as a “favourite” from My CarJam and it will be maintained using overnight lookups which are much cheaper.