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 – Jamie East

Jamie East #MyFirstCar.

Even though it's a design classic and one of the original hot hatchbacks, the Volkswagen Golf was only the 7th most popular car among first-time drivers. However, with its roomy interior and muscular performance, it is one of the most popular cars among first-time drivers with families, which is exactly the reason why Jamie East picked one up.

It's just a shame that no-one told Sky Atlantic's Thronecast presenter about the dangers of fitting a roof box.

"I was ridiculously old and already a father of two before I got a car that I actually owned. I'd passed my test years before (when I was 19) but for various reasons didn't get 'round to buying one until I was nearly 26.

Before the trusty royal blue Golf entered my life I'd always managed to beg, borrow or – well just beg or borrow a car whenever I needed one. Living in London isn't like anywhere else. I'd lived in Derby most of my life where having a car is useful. In London, they're a nuisance – you can't park them anywhere and people love nicking them.

VW Golf mark IV.

So, there I was with a 10–year–old Golf, driving down to Cornwall, The Strokes first album blasting out of the CD player (plugged into the stereo via jack lead, obvs), like the king of the world. I'd chosen the air freshener, the stereo (which took me longer to pay off than the car – thanks, Egg) and the roof box.

Ah yes, the roof box. When your heart says Thule but your head says the cheapest you can find. When your head says, "you'll never fit all that in" but your bum says, "just sit on it till it shuts". Parents of young children will always remember the first time they realise the amount of absolute trash you have to carry around everywhere, 10 days in Padstow with a toddler needs more equipment than Botham's walk of Britain. I was quite proud of managing to fit everything in.

An hour later I was smiling smugly to myself while driving down the M5 towards Exeter, looking in the rear–view mirror and pitying the fool whose North Face coat was floating across the central reservation. Along with a kid's body warmer and… oh god… my wife's leather jacket.

You tell yourself you won't risk your life for mundane material things – but those are the words spoken by men who remember to lock their roof boxes, not by men who aren't as attached to the first expensive coat they've ever bought – and certainly not by men who have to tell their wife a crow is pecking her coat to shreds.

Have a first car story you want to share?

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

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