The Car Wash Association

The Car Wash Association

The Car Wash Association (CWA) was originally established in 2007 by wash operators and industry suppliers and is now officially incorporated as part of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).  

It is a self-regulating industry body involved in the practice of setting quality and safety standards by promoting best practice and fair competition.
It comprises PRA members who operate a car wash business including automatic roll over or conveyor wash, jet washing facilities or regulated hand wash.  Vehicle washing equipment operators and manufacturers are corporate members.

Safe Car Wash App

The Petrol Retailers Association and the Car Wash Association have welcomed a new Safe Car Wash App, launched by anti-modern slavery campaigns, The Clewer Initiative from the Church of England and the Catholic Church’s Santa Marta Group.
The new Safe Car Wash app, launched on June 4th, can be downloaded for free on Apple and Android devices.
Users can open the app when they are at the car wash and pinpoint their exact location using GPS. They will be then taken through a series of indicators of modern slavery – such as whether workers have suitable protective clothing. If the answers indicate a high likelihood, users will be directed to the Modern Slavery Helpline.
Data from the app will be anonymized and shared with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Gangmasters and Labor Abuse Authority (GLAA). The data will help pinpoint the exact number and location of hand car washes in the UK, with estimates suggesting that there are more than 20,000 plus.

To download the Safe Car Wash App please click here

The Car Wash Industry

There are 38 million vehicles in the UK requiring washing with total car washing in the UK for all types of washes accounting for £1 billion turnover. 

However, current legislation and environmental regulations tend to be ignored by most unregulated hand car wash businesses often with illegal employment conditions and unfair business practices forcing compliant car washes to close. Pollution caused by car wash effluent through car wash solids and chemicals pose a serious threat to our environment and are key issues that we address and lobby against by collaborating with UK government to ensure enforcement and compliance.
We provide advice and support to our members so that they are armed with all the information they need to offer a range of high quality car wash and valet facilities that meet all relevant industry regulations, to run a legitimate and well managed car wash business.

Car Wash Regulatory Support and Advice

In providing vehicle washing facilities to the motorist, our members act responsibly and adhere to Government car wash legislation and regulations covering employment and immigration law, local planning, company tax regulations, health & safety compliance including care of the environment by handling trade effluent in an environmentally sensitive manner.

We are liaising with appropriate UK government departments and independent agencies to establish a level playing field for all companies operating vehicle washing to ensure car wash legal compliance and best practice.

The PRA was instrumental in supporting Natural Resources Wales, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency in devising GPP13 Vehicle Washing and Cleaning. This guidance is for businesses that wash vehicles, and for anyone who washes vehicles as part of a business activity. The PRA refers to this guidance when advising members, including those operating in England.
A copy of this document is available by clicking here



About PRA

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.