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UK car valeters form new trade association to address issues in the industry

A new trade association has been formed for the UK’s car valeting industry to improve professionalism in the industry and to address issues around labour shortages, low pay levels and to help engage with HM Revenue and Customs.

The Association for Contract Valeting (ACV) was created earlier this year and is currently made up of 11 companies, including Assured Group and Autoclenz, that represent the majority of the UK valeting industry with a joint annual turnover of £400 million and who employ between 15,000-20,000 individuals.

The ACV’s aim is to become an influential UK trade body, with a "powerful, stronger collective voice for its members".

Heath Evans, Assured group managing director and acting chairman of the ACV, said: “The valeting industry in the UK has traded in its current unregulated form for almost 40 years.

“With the recent high profile cases in the national press with regarding the engagement of labour and the introduction of technology and how people accept and complete work in the modern world we all realise that the industry will and does need change.

“Mindful of the Taylor report and the questionnaire requesting feedback from various UK industries regards the engagement of individuals, it was felt that a joint response should be given on behalf of the industry.”

Evans said many of the ACV’s members are becoming aware of the potential risk to their business by the new Criminal Finance Bill, with dealer customers asking for reassurance from their valeting and labour suppliers on their current remuneration model with their workforce.

He also previously told AM dealers should expect ‘significant price inflation’ as those in the valeting industry looks to meet rising employment costs due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Evans said: “The ACV will show a clear delineation between its members and the myriad of unscrupulous companies in the industry who engage with illegal workers, breach health and safety guidelines and generally give the valeting industry a bad name.

“In the future it would be hoped that should someone within the motor trade which to engage the services of a member of the ACV then they will have confidence in the respective companies' credentials.”

While the Government reviews and establishes its opinion in relation to its vision for the gig economy, and access to the UK economy for migrant low skilled workers, Evans said the ACV will engage with members to ensure the valeting industry’s views are represented in discussions.

The ACV is already planning its first meeting with HMRC to discuss issues facing the industry.

Evans added: “The ACV has taken advice on how it should respond to the Taylor Report from Sam Davies and Alastair Kendrick, both respected individuals within the motor trade.

“The ACV should aim to have an input to obtain a workable solution to any regulation for the valeting industry and therein the motor trade.”

Davies is a specialist tax partner with Dains LLP accountants.  He has significant practical experience with HMRC, status disputes, and companies operating in the sector.

Kendrick is an employment tax specialist who is well known in the automotive sector with considerable experience of dealing with tax disputes on issues like status and to be the tax policy adviser to trade associations.

The ACV is asking any company that wants to join to contact Claire Newman at enquiries@aforcv.org.

Full list of companies in the association

  • Assured Group Ltd
  • Autoclenz
  • DCS Valeting
  • Direct Valeting
  • Falcon Car Care Ltd
  • Motorclean
  • National Car Cleaning
  • Permashine
  • PJM Group
  • Quality Assured Valeting
  • Secure Valeting PLC

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