Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
Equipment » Car wash & Valeting
PDQ Tandem Surfline car wash

PDQ Manufacturing launches Tandem Surfline Vehicle Wash

PDQ Manufacturing has launched the Tandem Surfline Vehicle Wash System, which it describes as the industry’s most innovative automatic friction wash.

police officer rear view

Suspected slave trafficker arrested at car wash business

A man suspected of trafficking workers into the UK to work at a hand car wash in Lancashire was arrested by Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) investigators on October 19.

Cashless air machine removes incentive for criminals

PTC Supplies and Services, a sister company of Active Carwash Supplies, has come up with a solution to the growing problem of air machines being badly damaged by criminals breaking into them to steal any small change stored inside.

Istobal displays sustainable heating system

The car wash and car care solutions provider Istobal will present a new water heating system at the Autopromotec Bolonia show next week (May 24-28).

Guide to new freedom in the water supply market

A new guide has been launched for businesses with high water usage, such as forecourts running car washes, which want to take the new opportunity to choose who supplies their water.

Istobal aims to boost growth and new business challenges with a new brand image

Istobal, the Spanish leader in car wash and car care solutions for the automotive sector, has redesigned its brand to support its expansion plan for the coming years which includes international growth, high technology focused on product quality and reliability, and being close to consumers with efficient solutions and a pleasant user experience.

Kärcher and Tokheim Service Group form a strategic partnership

Kärcher and Tokheim Service Group (TSG) have come to an agreement to form a strategic partnership, by which the cleaning specialist and the provider of services and fuel retailing solutions will join forces in the car wash industry.

Colour washing

Rogue car wash sites have been a plague on legitimate operators for a number of years. Because they operate outside the regulations, ignoring minimum wage rules, environmental requirements, and paying little or no tax and rates, they have been able to undercut the legal trade. Despite intense lobbying by industry groups this illegality never appeared to be a priority for the authorities, and the response was patchy at best.

Cleaning up

Over the past few years legitimate car wash businesses have suffered as hand car wash operations paying no regard to laws, such as the national minimum wage, taxes, local rates and environmental regulations were able to undercut them, but there has been renewed optimism in the sector recently.

Payday from spray

There's no denying that in recent times car washes have taken a pounding from unfair competition. But unlike the fuel side of the business, where supermarket giants have been using their financial muscle to undercut the rest of the market, it has been hand-wash minnows, often dodging the costs of taxes, rates, environmental regulations and all the other red tape legitimate businesses comply with, who have leeched trade away from the forecourts.

Out of touch?

Drivers visiting the Shell forecourts in Hinchley Wood, London and Virginia Water, Surrey, can give their cars a treat a touchless wash. Machines supplied and maintained by two key UK suppliers, WashTec and Wilcomatic, have been installed and the results and customer feedback will be carefully monitored.

Different strokes

Car wash revenues on forecourts have taken something of a nosedive in recent years and some fuel retailers have given up on car washing altogether. There are retailers that have chosen to just offer jet washing and others that have decided to compete with hand car washers head on by opening hand wash operations on their own sites. But there are others that are looking to new technology to differentiate themselves from facilities down the road.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 November 2017
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East123.5862.15130.21121.10
East Midlands123.21131.97120.77
London123.5556.90131.47121.21
North East122.7764.90132.16120.46
North West123.1057.80131.29120.64
Northern Ireland121.8564.20125.57120.27
Scotland123.3352.20129.79120.83
South East123.79131.06121.50
South West123.42130.49121.01
Wales123.15129.94120.50
West Midlands122.8761.90132.62120.73
Yorkshire & Humber122.9956.90131.53120.82

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As many forecourt operators continue their quest for expansion - driving up forecourt prices - could you be tempted to sell your business?