Investigation into hand car washes begins

A parliamentary committee is to look into how damaging hand car washes are to the environment.

The Environmental Audit Committee will examine how the impact of hand car washes differs from automatic ones. It will look at how effective regulation is and what steps central government might take to ensure that these businesses are operated sustainably.

Although the focus of the Committee’s inquiry will be on environmental issues, another body, the Independent Anti- Slavery Commission has produced a list of indications of exploitation at hand car washes, which the Committee will also seek answers for.

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Our inquiry will look at the environmental impact of hand car washes and ask how effective the regulations that govern them are. It will also ask the Government how it is meeting its commitments under the UN Sustainable Development Goals to reduce human exploitation.”

Reacting to the news, Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association commented: “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,” he concluded.

Published by Greg Whitaker

Editor of CAT Magazine and an experienced motoring journalist @GregWhitaker5

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  1. Hand car washes are a nuisance. They POLLUTE the envornment, create traffic problems and not forgetting the business is CASH only with no accountability to pay tax. I agree with ray and the bosses drive the most expensive cars.

  2. It is a well known and ignored fact that a large potion of these hand car washes in the Bradford area are merely a front for drugs gangs to literally launder their filthy ill gotten gains, shut ’em down and wash your own bloody cars you lazy sods!!!

  3. I support the proposed probe. Most car washes seem to use an acid to clean wheels. I’ve noticed a very strong smell as well as a yellow residue left behind after washing. Surely the acid along with all other chemicals used are a great threat to the environment. Also, on a separate note, our sales of cleaning & valeting products has died a death since the opening of 2 car washes (exactly opposite other) that are a stones’ throw away from our shop. Whilst I agree that the “Amazons” of this world get away with tax evasion on a massive scale & smaller businesses are an easier target for the regulatory bodies, that should not stop them from trying to enforce the law.

  4. At a time when companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and many others are avoiding BILLIONS in tax, who do the government go after? a few eastern europeans washing cars. Our country is truly pathetic. I wonder for example, how go for the environment all those bombs we dropped right across the middle east? no forgetting the millions of lives lost as a result.

  5. Good i for one am very pleased that these hand car washing places and the damage they do to the enviroment area at last going to be looked at.

  6. when will the government realize that there are thousands of hand car washes in the uk. run on a cash only basis operated by individuals who pay no tax at all. my neighbour has rented a property to a guy from eastern europe for only 2 years, and yet he has now asked if he can purchase the site for over £300K OUTRIGHT.