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CWA welcomes proposals for hand car wash licensing scheme

PRA 12/02/2020

“We are excited that Government, through the Office for Labour Market Enforcement, is at last proposing practical measures to combat the fast growing, mostly illegal, trade of non-compliant hand car washes,” said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers and Car Wash Associations.

Tomorrow, Matthew Taylor, the Interim Director of the Office for Labour Market Enforcement (OLME) will call for tighter regulations on the UK’s hand car washes, by introducing a national licensing scheme in order to combat the prevalence of human trafficking, poor working conditions and environmental concerns, amongst other issues.

The Car Wash Association (CWA) attended the workshop convened last week by Mr Taylor and fully support the proposals.

Research conducted by Experian Catalist for the CWA confirmed that less than 5% of the 10,000 or more third party hand car washes are located on operational forecourts. This means they are typically located on brown and greenfield sites, car parks of major retailers and disused forecourts.

Madderson continued, “It is a national disgrace that the UK has become the "go to" country in Europe for non-compliant hand car washes that openly flout tax, labour abuse and environmental regulations. They are a serious social blight caused by ineffective enforcement and contrast starkly with countries like Germany, Austria and Benelux which have virtually none.

“The sooner this new Government tackles this issue, the sooner will our rivers and countryside be freed from toxic chemical waste and labour abuse will be eliminated. We enthusiastically welcome Mr Taylor’s call for a licensing scheme.”

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.