Winter brings the welcome return of quality washing opportunities. Damp mornings brightening to dry, clear afternoons are the perfect conditions for maximising all types of washing. There is plenty of business to go around; we just need to ensure we get our fair share. It is vital that the equipment and infrastructure are ready for this extra business. Servicing, cleaning and making sure bays are safe and attractive will ensure that customers return again and again.

This year CWA members will have a new tool available to them, the WashMark. This will become synonymous with quality washes throughout the UK. It will show that the highest standard of environmental compliance, coupled with excellent business practices, are carried out at locations sporting this sign. Both customers and government agencies will now be able to recognise locations that fully support the ethics of good environmentally sensitive car washing and compliance with all aspects of legitimate business operation.

In 2012 the CWA will audit locations displaying the WashMark to ensure that the sign continues to show a consistent accurate quality brand. The CWA has a new resource in its arsenal, Graham Alvey (, who now travels the country and is able to talk knowledgeably with retailers and government agencies.

Much ground has already been covered in the work of making all county councils aware of their obligations with regard to car washing within their own jurisdictions.

Wherever I travel around the country, I am approached by retailers talking about their wash business and how it continues to buck the trend and provide a fantastic return.

From oil company to single site retailers, the story is always the same investment pays dividends.

Customers have great confidence in sites with newer washes: that’s not to say that it is necessary to spend a fortune.

Most manufacturers have a broad range of new and second-hand equipment available that offer retailers good value.

Reliable, quality washing and a brand new or updated look will attract many new customers who wish to wash their cars at a facility which is an improvement on those at the bottom end of the hand car wash market.