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Home office backed car wash licensing pilot awards first accreditation

Image: Deler Jamal, Manager at Pro Touch Valeting Slough and Councillor Balvinder Bains (L-R)

The Responsible Car Wash Scheme (RCWS) has today awarded the first government-backed accreditation for car washes demonstrating compliance in employment, environmental and premises law.

Waves car wash and Pro Touch Valeting, both in Slough, applied for accreditation following a visit from the RCWS as part of a Home Office funded pilot to test licensing for car washes. Both sites will now display a RCWS sticker and banner, assuring drivers they will receive a fair wash when visiting.

Teresa Sayers, Managing Director, RCWS, said: “These accreditations are a landmark in our goal to see car washes across the UK offer a fair wash for all – fair to their workers, their customers and to the environment. Both of these car washes have proven to be adhering to the RCWS code of practice in full and meeting their employment, environmental and premises obligations. Businesses in Slough have been very receptive to the scheme and we have other applications coming through, so I am sure these will be the first of many accreditations.”

Joanna Graham, CEO of Waves Car Wash, said: “We fully support the RCWS and were very keen to gain accreditation as soon as possible. We hope that this scheme encourages other car washes in the area (and more widely) to ensure they comply with the law and that it also helps customers to make an informed choice about where they get their car cleaned.”

Deler Jamal, Manager at Pro Touch Valeting Slough, which is regularly visited by fleet and private hire cars, said: ”Our employees are very important to us at Pro Touch Valeting, as are our customers, so we are proud to be acknowledged with the Responsible Car Wash Scheme. Many of our customers drive fleet and private hire cars and they appreciate a professional service.

“This accreditation and the Fair Wash certificate demonstrates to them and other drivers that are passing by that we take our employment and environmental obligations seriously.”

The pilot started on 10 May with visits by the RCWS to 20 car washes in Slough with the assistance of Local Council, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Thames Valley Police.

The aim of the initial visits was to inform car wash businesses of the scheme and encourage applications for accreditation. These visits have been followed up with further communication with each car wash.

The hand car wash sector has consistently been identified as an industry where workers are at risk of exploitation ranging from poor working conditions to modern day slavery. Legitimate businesses are often undercut by those breaking the law, creating an unfair competitive landscape.

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