What an interesting year it is turning out to be for car washing. Firstly, we had severe drought conditions, then a deluge of rain. Next the heatwave gave way to a short shower, sprinkling tons of Saharan sand all over our customers’ cars. What next locusts or frogs? Not sure my interceptors can cope with either!

Now that the threat of water restrictions has reduced for at least this year, it is encouraging to see both water companies and DEFRA engaging with us. Many water companies have invited us to meetings to discuss their long-term plans for supply. It has provided a fascinating insight into the minds of giant water company bosses and their very real desire to provide reliable, uninterrupted supply for the next few years. DEFRA is conducting a survey into the effects of the recent drought on the car wash industry. It is encouraging that we can represent our industry and provide accurate data to ensure the correct decisions are made.

Moving on, and this year I replaced my six-year-old rollover washes with the very latest ’brushless’ combination machine from Washtec. It was always going to be a very tough act to follow, as my customers have often said to me that Parkfoot’s were the best machines they had ever used. However, such is the engineering evolution of car washes that I now have rollovers that are 10" wider and have seen improvements in both wheel and body wash quality. A very important addition has come from softening all the water from our borehole and, as a result, using far fewer chemicals and improving the drying of the car. On top of that, I have added an additional income stream of a proper ’Brushfree’ programme that actually cleans the car. There are now several washes around the country incorporating technology like this contact the manufacturers as they have great new ideas to boost your business.

Since installation three months ago, I have seen a weekly increase in revenue compared with last year. Now is the time to invest for the winter washing season.

Finally, it is with sadness that I have to report the passing of Alan Bennett. Alan was managing director of Istobal UK and a founding member and supporter of the CWA. He was a true car wash enthusiast and will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.