Hand car washes to be investigated

Posted on June 5th, 2018 by Rob Marshall

Hand car washes to be investigated

We all love a bargain and most of us hate dirty cars. Yet, washing a car properly is not easy without causing damage and so many people get it wrong. This might be several reasons why out-of-town car wash enterprises that tend to propagate around closed-down petrol stations have popped-up in recent years but how do you know that you can trust these so-called ‘professionals’?


It appears you cannot. While it would be unfair to say that all such outfits are unprofessional, specialised detailers and valeters that we have spoken with have voiced greater concerns about unqualified hand car wash attendants ruining paintwork, than modern drive-through automated machines. While they will make the car cleaner than it was, in less than ten minutes at a seemingly bargain price, they could be wreaking hundreds of pounds’ worth of damage to your vehicle’s finish.


Ben Youell, founder of the Professional Valeters and Detailers’ Trade Association, asks,

“How do consumers know that the people washing their cars are trained in techniques, are capable of mixing, preparing and using the correct products, plus what levels of insurance they hold? We have come across several cases, for example, where brick acid has been used by such unregulated outfits to clean alloy wheels. The damage may not be apparent as the car is driven away but will become evident as discolouration and corrosion sets in later on.”


Parliament steps in

The Environmental Audit Committee is worried, too, and will be looking at how certain businesses operate from a sustainability angle. Yet, it will not stop there. The Independent Anti-Slavery Commission will also be investigating, as well.


The Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), Brian Madderson, reacted to the news and said,


“The PRA is pleased to see the Committee is holding the Government to account on an industry that is in breach of several regulations.”


“We have been lobbying DEFRA repeatedly over the lack of enforcement regarding the estimated 6,500 cubic metres of chemical trade effluent produced by hand car washes, which pollutes local water courses. We have also met with officials from both the Home Office and the Treasury Select Committee to discuss breaches of the Modern Slavery Act and the millions of Pounds lost in tax revenues”.