Hastings Direct.

Important - Coronavirus update

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, we now have a limited number of staff in the office. During this time, we're committed to supporting you in the best way we can. We'll be here throughout to keep you updated so make sure to check back regularly.

  • At this time, please help us to prioritise essential calls by using our online services.
    • If you're a car customer you can use MyAccount or the app to make policy changes or payments, including changing your payment date, checking your documents or to report or track a claim (MyAccount only).
    • If you're a home, bike or van customer, or for any customers wishing to cancel their insurance, please use our online forms.
  • If you do phone, we will only be able to deal with your query if:
    • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS/critical care worker who can't easily access our online services, or
    • You are worried about making future payments, or
    • Your policy is due to renew in less than a week and you're concerned the policy is no longer suitable for you, or
    • You need to make a claim and your vehicle is un-driveable or if you need urgent roadside assistance.
  • For all other queries, including buying a new policy, please first read our Coronavirus FAQs for the latest advice and how to use our online services.
  • Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am - 6pm, Saturday 10am - 2pm and Sunday Closed. If do you need to call us, please bear with us as it may take us longer to answer your call. We're sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

#MyFirstCar – Adnan Ebrahim

Adnan Ebrahim my first car.

Many moons ago, before I took ownership of a 660bhp modified, flame-spitting Nissan GT-R, 17-year-old me started motoring life off with a lowly 1.0-litre Toyota Yaris. It was as base-spec as they come; three pedals, three doors, a stick in the middle, manual, cloth seats, and what can only be described as a 'minimalist approach to in-car technology'. The key to driving it was to maintain enough speed, because trying to accelerate from a standing start would mean many minutes' worth of staring at the speedo praying for a tail-wind.

By far and away the most terrifying moment I had with my first car came on an autumnal day in September. I was driving to my cousin's wedding in Kent and it was raining hard. With skinny tyres, the Yaris lacked grip on the driest of days, but in the wet, manoeuvring my silver pride was proving to be a tricky endeavour.

Ten miles away from the venue, I got lost. This was before the days of realtime mobile phone mapping technology, and so I decided to follow my directional instincts by turning down a quiet country lane in the hopes it would lead me to civilisation. This narrow lane quickly became a track, which promptly led me into a farmer's field.

Toyota Yaris.

Deciding it was unwise to retrace my steps and turn around, I started driving onto the field. After 20 metres, my pace started to slow and I realised the field resembled more of a bog than a traversable surface. 25 metres in, I got stuck. Really stuck. The front two wheels were spinning and flicking up mud and I quickly gave up shifting from first to reverse, worried I was just digging myself deeper into a boggy hole.

In my wedding best – my favourite suit – I decided to get out and push. After five minutes of squelching around making no progress, I heard the sound of a diesel roar – my rescue chariot – the farmer's tractor. I was able to get a tow, was given some stern words that this wasn't in fact the way to the venue, and was sent on my way. Half an hour late, I arrived at the wedding… caked in mud.

After a few more years piloting the tin can, and creating many more first car memories, I decided to switch to something rear-wheel drive, and became the owner of my second silver pride, a BMW E46 M3.

Have a first car story you want to share?

Tell us about your adventures on Facebook or Twitter using #MyFirstCar

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