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ASCII Data Format Transfer

At cap hpi, our goal is to support your business. The data, products and consultancy we provide help you to make smarter automotive decisions. 

Our focus on product development and innovation puts us at the forefront of the industry and we strive for continual improvement. We have therefore decided to withdraw the ASCII format in favour of the modern JSON and CSV formats.

Your IT team will need to make some changes to allow you to receive these new data formats. Important note if you do nothing, you will no longer be able to successfully receive our data. 

Please ensure your IT team contacts our Customer Service team on 0113 222 2007 to ensure they have everything they need.

Questions and answers 

Why is cap hpi removing ASCII?

  • Our data files use a five digit CAP ID to identify the vehicle. Ever-increasing manufacturer makes/models/derivatives means we’ll soon need a six digit CAP ID
  • The ASCII file format will not allow us to easily increase the field length to incorporate six digit CAP IDs
  • Once 5 digit capacity is reached the data transfer will be incomplete
  • Changing ASCII to include extra digits only delays the inevitable – it does not fix the problem
  • Increasing digits within ASCII will STILL mean your business needs development time to accommodate
  • cap hpi is NOT supporting an extension to the ASCII data. It is being phased out across many businesses

What does this look like moving forward?

  • Your development time is best centered around migrating to a modern, flexible format
  • There are two files formats available - CSV and JSON
  • Both formats will be familiar to your IT department
  • Both formats are future proofed
  • API is also available, but not as part of this project

Next Steps?

  • If you have any questions please call our service team on 0113 222 2007
  • ASCII data files will still be available until June 2019, alongside the new file formats
  • CSV and JSON feeds are available alongside your current ASCII feed
  • Your technical team should start investigating how to transfer away from ASCII in favour of CSV and JSON at the earliest opportunity - making changes to your internal systems may take time
  • The structure for the new format CSV and JSON files are designed to be the same as their ASCII equivalents
  • The help material within the customer subscriber area has been updated to call-out the new formats. You can access this by navigating to: (you will need to be logged-in first)

What are the advantages of CSV and JSON?

  • CSV and JSON formats are not ‘fixed width formats’ (unlike ASCII)
  • Any ‘digit extensions’ to ASCII will always require IT development work/costs because it is not flexible
  • CSV and JSON formats do not require development or incur costs for ‘digit extensions’
  • CSV and JSON formats are cheaper in the long run for businesses
  • CSV and JSON formats are increasingly industry standard formats
  • CSV and JSON formats are easier to manipulate