Why The Cost Of Your Next Hand Car Wash Could Be A Little More Expensive

Mon 22nd Oct 2018

While drivers are being squeezed for every penny and pound from petrol pumps, insurers and garages, there is one charge set to rise for all the right reasons.

The UK Government is launching a scheme to combat modern day slavery in the car wash industry, with many operators paying staff illegally, often well below the minimum wage. The scheme, which is called The Responsible Car Wash Scheme will also aim to make safety standards at car washes meet minimum standards.

The news follows on from the death of a 40-year-old car wash worker, Sandu Laurentiu, who was electrocuted whilst taking a shower in a lodging behind his workplace. Laurentiu was one of six Romanian men paid just £40 a day for washing cars, who were then charged £40 rent a week to live in the rat infested living quarters. Shaip Nimani, was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaghter as the owner of the Bubbles car wash and accomodation.

The new scheme will be piloted across the Midlands, with approved car washes receiving a kitemark. It’s thought that the scheme will also raise standards across the industry, wth more than 20,000 hand car washes operating in the UK, many of them illegally.

Darryl Dixon, the GLAA’s Director of Strategy, said, “We have seen numerous problems across this industry – from modern day slavery, debt bondage, failure to pay proper wages, through to workers not being provided with any appropriate or personal protective equipment.

“Whilst enforcement is crucial, education is also essential to both operators, so that they can ensure they operate legally, but also to consumers, so they can make the simple decision of using a legal operator or not.

“This Scheme is a big step forward in addressing these issues.”