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Hand car wash review: After lockdown

With travel restrictions now eased and people encouraged to spend to restart the economy, travel has increased in the UK. With a subsequent rise in car use, the need to clean cars has also increased; however, with the UK population needing to social distance is it safe to let people inside your vehicle to clean it?

Social distancing measures are now the new normal with supermarkets leading the way with one-way systems, sanitation stations and clear markings around the shops. As essential services supermarkets have had to adapt quickly, but as non-essential retail shops and other services re-open, we looked at how car washing had been affected. In particular, we looked at what new measures were in place at a Waves hand car wash site.

Who are Waves?

Established in 2006, Waves is a franchised business that is the sole supplier of hand car washes at Tesco stores. Waves’ locations have purpose-built washing facilities where operators clean your car while you shop. They use Autoglym products, a British manufacturer who provide high-quality preparation and care products for the best possible finish.

Waves hand car wash

Our experience

There is a new price list with updated details outlining the changes made as a result of COVID-19, including increased PPE and the use of sanitising products. Prices vary by site but an interior valet usually starts from £30/£35; there are also completely contactless outside options available.

We paid via contactless payment, but a separate app is available offering discounts for NHS and other blue-light service workers.

The upgraded use of PPE, with all staff wearing masks when in the car, along with gloves, aprons, and overalls, was a reassuring sight. The car key was also cleaned and disinfected before being returned to me. The quality of the service at this Waves site was as good as it was before lockdown, and this franchise has always offered a high level of service. The finish was excellent, and it felt like value for money.

The safety of our customers and colleagues has to be our number one priority and we have made considerable changes to our car washes. We’re delighted to be re-opening across the UK and we look forward to welcoming our customers back to Waves”

Overall it felt Waves had taken significant steps to reassure their customers and keep them safe. Some may be concerned about people working in their car. In our experience, it felt like entering a coffee shop or supermarket; it was a little strange, but it was clear that Waves had taken action to minimise risks as much as possible.