Car Wash Association


On the 19th August 2015 Sandu Laurentiu-Sava died whilst taking a shower at his lodgings which were both physically and financially linked to the unregulated car wash at which he worked. Sandu was a man who like many others came to the UK in the hope of providing a better life for his family. He did not ask for handouts or lodgings but was prepared to work hard and work hard he did until the day he was electrocuted in what can only be described as disgraceful living arrangements.

Could his death have been avoided, absolutely!

Regulations are already in place that had they been applied and enforced would have prevented his death and it is to that end that we intend to make some significant changes in the industry.

The Sandu Foundation, a not for profit organisation is now launching to make the changes needed to the industry.

Since 2007 we have been working to bring about change in the UK vehicle washing industry and whilst we have made some headway it has become clear that unless a different approach was taken to those that have been previously tried no change will ever be achieved.
Currently we have a UK wash industry that is fragmented and overrun by unregulated vehicle washing sites (approximately 19,000 UK wide) and many of these are in this position because they do not have an understanding of what is legally required of them but many more of them simply use wash sites as a vehicle for illegal acts such as modern slavery, money laundering etc.

The Sandu Foundation is a not for profit organisation that will work to bring together government agencies, wash companies, workers, charities and the public to shape a new wash industry for the UK that will be fair and safe for all.
How we will effect change.

We have a three year strategy that is both simple and direct.During 2017 we will be building the board of The Sandu Foundation, contacting government agencies and bringing together key wash sites under the WashMark thus helping members of the public to start identifying wash sites that have been audited by CWAS and which they can be sure do not support modern slavery, money laundering and comply with all current UK and EU legislation.

2018 – 2020 we will expand the wash sites under the WashMark and work with all agencies to remove wash sites that after investigation have been found to be set up purely for the purpose of breaking UK and EU legislation.

Beyond that one of our long term objectives is to set up a registration and training programme for workers of hand car wash sites along with support centres to offer free health checks, lessons in English language along with advice on workers’ rights etc.
What is the WashMark?

The WashMark is the industry certificate of quality and compliance.
We audit every site that applies for the WashMark thoroughly, for the wash site it means they can be sure that they are making every effort to comply with all commercial and environmental regulations.

The consumer can be completely confident that where they see the WashMark not only will they get a superb wash but also that they are supporting their local environment, the UK economy and standing up against human trafficking.

Auditing of the WashMark is done by our own independent investigations team. You will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire which will be sent to you by email. Once we have all of your details and have completed an onsite visit we will be able to decide which WashMark to award to you.

How we will be funding the change.

Initial funding : We want owners of car wash sites to come forward and register with The Sandu Foundation to show that they believe they are a compliant wash site and that they do not allow modern slavery on their wash site.

The cost will be £25 per site and each site will be allocated a registration number and certificate that they can display.

We also have car window stickers, air fresheners and other car related products that members of the public can purchase for £1-£5 so that they can show they do not support modern slavery at the car wash and these will be available in March 2018.

Further funding: (until 2020) will come via Car Wash Advisory Service, £25 of every WashMark application will go directly to The Sandu Foundation. Additionally The Sandu Foundation will also be charging a small annual membership fee and this should provide more than enough to action the changes required and keeps the programme going forward.

What we will do with the money.
• Recruit and train more agents to audit the WashMark.
• Offer the WashMark at a significantly reduced fee ensuring that cost is not an objection.
• Conduct studies quickly and efficiently to clarify the issues that we are certain exist and so that in future we can place funding where it is needed without wastage.

How The Sandu Foundation will affect us all.

There will be people who feel that they have no interest in The Sandu Foundation as they feel that it will not affect them and they are very wrong because it affects us all and here is why.
In 2014 we undertook a project in Nottingham.

We looked at 72 wash companies which were all within a 5 mile radius of Nottingham town centre.

• 51 of these companies had static wash sites and 21 were mobile companies.
• 45 were operating without planning permission.
• 43 were not paying any business rates
• 44 had no permission to access the foul sewer to dispose of trade effluent (run off from vehicle washing), which can be very damaging to our environment and cause flooding.

We noted that in the region of 204 people were working on the static sites without basic health and safety and as such they were also likely to be forced labour or modern slavery victims.

The approximate revenue that was recovered after this programme was just over 1.2 million with a further annual recovery of £350k.

Across the country we conservatively estimate that UK PLC is missing out on 1 Billion in revenue every year! Imagine what local hospitals and schools could do with that revenue and as such it affects us all!

Ultimately the Sandu Foundation will stop the UK vehicle washing industry from being used as a cash cow for criminal gangs, stop modern day slavery and exploitation at the car wash and improve the quality of vehicle washing throughout the UK. An absolute win, win for everyone!

But nothing will be achieved, and changes cannot be made without support from both the wash industry and the public alike.

If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of The Sandu Foundation please call 01376 563869 or email
Dates for your diary:
September 2017, board meeting selections complete and board members' will be announced.
New Sandu Foundation Website Launches 14/2/18
March 19th 2018 Formal Sandu Foundation Launch which will be followed by six launch events throughout the UK, dates and locations to follow shortly.

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