• myAutomate

Waves Car Wash Review

Updated: Sep 27

Life, for most, is returning to normal with live events back on and the easing of lockdown across the UK. As a result, travel has increased in the UK to pre-pandemic levels. With a subsequent rise in-car use, the need to clean cars has also increased; however, is it safe to let people inside your vehicle to clean it?


We looked at a Waves hand car wash to see what measures were in place and if these impacted the quality of service in any way.


Who are Waves?

Established in 2006, Waves is a franchised business that is the sole supplier of hand car washes at Tesco stores and a growing number of other locations throughout the UK. The 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

Responsible Car Wash Association (RCWA)

Waves were one of five founding members of the RCWA, a scheme aiming to tackle modern slavery and a lack of compliance within the hand car wash industry. Being a member gives consumers the reassurance that sites operate with safe conditions and have ethical and compliant employment practices.


Our Experience

We visited a Waves car wash at a Tesco near Bristol. 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 £25-£35 depending on the size of the vehicle; there are also completely contactless payment 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 was clear that Waves had taken action to minimise risks as much as possible without compromising the level of service they offer.