Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Lives could be lost due to government charges

Lives could be lost due to government charges

Thousands of consumers are likely to end up buying illegal or unsafe vehicles due to a government proposal to charge for basic vehicle information, according to the motoring website

Carjam spokesman Paul Osborne says:

“Many cars are sold each day. Some of these vehicles are stolen, have dodgy warrants or have had their odometers wound back. Right now, at no charge, consumers can check if a vehicle is safe and legal on our website. Consumers will be denied this information if proposed government charges go ahead.”

Like many other websites, Carjam currently gets basic information for free from the New Zealand Transport Agency’s computers, and then passes this information at no charge to consumers. The NZTA is intending to end this supply of free data, which is widely used in the motor trade to check basic facts about a vehicle.

NZTA proposes to charge websites like Carjam every time it accesses the NZTA computer. Although the charges appear small (16 cents per transaction), due to the huge number of transactions involved (1.5 million reports per month through Carjam), these charges will earn NZTA millions of dollars every year.

“At these rates, we would have to charge to the consumer for each report that we currently provide for free. Also, many consumers still don't have credit cards; therefore they would have trouble paying for an online report, regardless of how much it cost."

“The information that the government proposes to charge for belongs to the New Zealand people, not the government. The New Zealand motorist already pays for this data through their motor registration fees. Now the government wants to charge twice.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Not only do the registration fees already pay for the information that is stored about their cars, but commercial users of other vehicle information already cover the costs of providing free information to websites like ours.”

Carjam has started an online petition calling for a halt to the proposed charges. This petition has gathered 7000 signatures in just 2 days.

“In the last twelve months our free reports have identified thousands of cases of vehicles with dodgy odometers, plus countless cases of vehicles with no warrant or rego and multiple cases of stolen vehicles being offered for sale to unsuspecting consumers. That’s a huge number of consumers who were protected thanks to our free reports.

Next year, thousands of consumers may end up buying illegal or unsafe cars, thanks to the government’s proposal. It’s not exaggerating to say that lives could be lost as a result,”


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.