What a start to the car washing year rain, rain and more rain. The only consolation we can take from this is that there will be no water shortages around the corner. Famous last words?

It is surprising how many people are prepared to clean their cars when the wind is howling and the rain is continuous. Even under these conditions this can be seen as an opportunity, but only if we get cleverer about the way we market our washes. If customers know that half-price washing is available on wet days, you will find that it’s a serious motivator encouraging them to come to you.

Many more customers will invest just a couple of pounds to make their car legal, respectable and clean so it won’t dirty their clothes when they brush against it.

There are still a lot of people very happy with brush washing; we need to get them washing more often.

Despite the Environment Agency working very hard to manage the flooding, they have also continued with their other responsibilities and have been working closely with us to identify and close unregulated hand washes all over the country. A notable example is in Coventry, where a large supermarket trolley wash was instantly closed down after dye colouring their waste water proved that the storm drains were feeding directly into a local stream.

We continue to work at a local level too and you should contact Dawn Fraser (01376 563537) if you need any help in closing down rogue car washing operations. Dawn will be happy to sign you up (for a modest fee) and is now able to offer other services too through her own company. Technical assistance is available too, through Graham Alvey. He has more than 25 years experience of car washing and can answer questions on car washing above and below ground. In the past six months we have seen a considerable rise in membership.

The jet wash and car wash have a big advantage over the rogue washes generally they do not require any manpower. It must be very demoralising for illegal car washes as working conditions will have been extremely difficult over the past four months, and returns must be awful. Let’s hope that at a time of economic recovery, many of them think that there just could be a better way to earn a living, and leave the market for good.