Are you allowed to wash your car during the hosepipe ban?

Long story short: yes


WITH NEW hosepipe bans set to be enforced from next month in Northeast England, and the possibility of other water companies following suit, millions of motorists in the UK will be wondering how they’ll be able to keep their cars clean as our sweltering summer rages on.

Thankfully, there’s no need to panic when a hosepipe ban comes into effect. With a few caveats, car owners with particularly mucky motors will still be able to keep their set of wheels (and the rest) squeaky clean, regardless of whether or not a hosepipe ban is imposed in their area.

According to United Utilities, the water company that will impose this latest hosepipe and water sprinkler ban, cleaning your car the old fashioned way with a bucket and sponge will still be allowed, on the basis that it “typically use[s] a fraction of the amount of water a hosepipe uses”.

It is important to point out, though, that hosepipes can’t be used to fill up the bucket. You could be fined £1,000 if caught using one during a ban. As a result, motorists with cars in an urgent need of some cleaning will need to fill up straight from a tap. Or possibly any wells or bore holes that they might find in the vicinity.

Should you want to gain some extra water conservation brownie points, you could even fill the bucket up with water that’s already been used for something else. We might have to be pretty desperate to resort to using bath water, though, as United Utilities suggests.

There are car cleaning methods that don’t require buckets of soapy water too, with an array of waterless car cleaning products currently on the market. However, based on our experience, they’re more suited for regular top ups, rather than a substitute to a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper soak; unless you want swirls in your paint, you really do want to get the dust and dirt off the car with water before scrubbing with a cloth.

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