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Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

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In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will 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, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, 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 help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Hastings Direct.
i

Coronavirus update Last updated 9th July 16:00

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  • We hope you and those close to you are keeping safe. Our teams are now working from home so we're very sorry if you notice the sound quality isn't as good as usual or you experience periods of silence. We're working hard on improving this so please bear with us.
  • Please help us prioritise urgent calls by only phoning us if you want to discuss your renewal or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or you're in financial difficulties and you're worried about payments, or you're an NHS or frontline healthcare worker.
  • For anything else, you can now manage your policy online. For latest advice and help to use our online tools, read our Coronavirus FAQs.

In line with guidance from the Government and to help look after our colleagues, most of our team are now working from home and are taking calls. However, waiting times are longer than normal and the quality of the call may not be as clear as if we were talking to you from our call centre. We're committed to supporting you in the best way we can and will 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, you can make policy changes or requests using our online forms.

If you do phone, we may only be able to deal with your query if:

  • Your policy is due to renew and you're concerned it's no longer suitable for you or you're thinking of cancelling your insurance, or
  • You are worried about making future payments, or
  • You're in a vulnerable situation or an NHS or frontline health care worker who can't easily access our online services, 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 help to use our online services.

Our opening hours have changed to: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

Read our Coronavirus FAQs

Car breakdown cover

Mechanic checking the engine of a car.

What is breakdown cover?

Car breakdown cover offers you an extra layer of protection when you're out on the road, on top of your standard car insurance policy. With breakdown cover, you have that extra reassurance if your car lets you down.

At Hastings Direct, we offer four levels of car breakdown insurance, from basic roadside recovery to misfuelling and breakdown cover in Europe.

How does breakdown cover work?

Damaged tyres, flat batteries, alternator faults, worn out spark plugs... these are just some of the many causes of car breakdowns. While carrying out regular car maintenance will help to limit the chance of your car breaking down, you can't stop it from happening altogether – after all, who can predict a flat tyre from driving over a pothole? This is why many drivers make the decision to take out breakdown cover.

If your car's tyre blows, the engine doesn't start or the alternator gives up whilst driving on the motorway, depending on the level of cover you take out, your breakdown provider will come to your rescue. Breakdown cover is usually offered at the time of taking out car insurance, but it can be added to your policy at a later date if you feel like you'd benefit from the added protection.

Breakdown cover features and benefits

We offer four levels of breakdown cover, provided by RAC:

  • Roadside
  • Roadside & recovery
  • Roadside, recovery & at home
  • European motoring assistance

If your vehicle can't be driven because of a breakdown, your insurer will arrange for the service as shown below.

Service Roadside Roadside
& recovery
Roadside,
recovery
& at home
European motoring assistance
Misfueling in the UK
UK-wide coverage
Roadside assistance
Caravan and trailer service
Recovery away from home
Emergency driver
Cover at home
Cover in Europe

We offer four levels of breakdown cover:

  • Roadside recovery
  • UK recovery
  • Home service
  • European cover

If your vehicle can't be driven because of a breakdown, your insurer will arrange for the service as shown below.

Service Roadside recovery UK recovery Home service European cover
Misfueling in the UK
UK-wide coverage
Roadside assistance
Caravan and trailer service
Recovery away from home
Emergency driver
Home service
European cover

Do you need breakdown cover?

Owning and running a car isn't cheap, so some drivers avoid taking out breakdown cover as a way to keep costs to a minimum. But this could be a mistake, as if you were to break down and need assistance, the cost of being recovered is likely to outweigh the cost of an annual breakdown policy. Breakdown cover for cars isn't a legal requirement, but taking out a policy with us means you'll have access to a respected and trusted provider if and when you need them.

What to do if you break down

Breaking down is inconvenient and frustrating – and it can also be pretty frightening if you find yourself at the side of a busy or dimly-lit road. Here are some tips to help keep you and your passengers safe whilst waiting for your breakdown provider to arrive:

On the motorway

Motorway hard shoulders are dangerous places to be, so if you think your car can make it, get off at the next service station or junction and find a safe place to park up. If you've no choice but to pull over to the hard shoulder, you should:

  • Pull over as far left on the lane as possible, turning your steering wheel to the left
  • Turn on your hazard lights
  • If it's dark, put on your sidelights, and fog lights if it's foggy and you can't see for more than 100 metres
  • Exit from the left-hand side of the car and make sure all passengers do the same
  • Stay as far back from the road as possible, behind the barrier
  • Locate a marker with your motorway position on it
  • Call for help while waiting with (but not close to) your car
  • The Highway Code advises pets remain in the car unless you consider it to be an emergency situation
  • If you feel at risk due to another person, get back into your car and lock all the doors until help gets there.

If your car gets fixed on the hard shoulder and you're ready to re-join the motorway, be patient and wait for a safe (meaning large) gap in the traffic. If it's clear and safe to do so, use the hard shoulder to build up speed before moving onto the carriageway.

On other roads

Small, fast, winding and dimly-lit roads can be just as scary to break down on, particularly if it's dark and there's no-one around. Here's what to do:

  • Switch on your lights. If visibility is poor due to bad weather or darkness, turn on your car's sidelights. Similarly, if thick fog means you can't see over 100 metres ahead or behind you, use your fog lights
  • Position your warning triangle. If your car's emergency kit includes a warning triangle, place it at least 45m behind your car. This will let other road users know to expect a broken down car ahead of them
  • Stay in a safe place. With the car stationary and warning triangle out, put on your reflective jacket (if you have one) and find a safe place away from the traffic. If there's a safety barrier, stay behind it until help arrives
  • Call for help. When it's safe to do so, phone your breakdown provider for help. If you don't have a phone or it's got a flat battery, you'll need to walk to an emergency phone to call the Highways Agency or police.

What's the Hastings Direct breakdown number?

Taken out a policy with Hastings Direct? Here are the emergency contact numbers you'll need:

Car breakdown assistance *

Policy taken out after 23rd August 2018

RAC

Policy taken out before 23rd August 2018

AXA

* Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What if you're taking your car abroad?

If you're planning a driving holiday to Europe, you don't want car complications spoiling your trip. Our European breakdown cover will give you reassurance you're well-protected when driving to, around and back from your destination.

Quality breakdown cover with Hastings Direct

Take out vehicle breakdown cover with Hastings Direct and you can boost protection with our range of optional extras, such as enhanced personal accident cover, motor legal expenses and car key cover. Limitations may apply.

Car insurance

Our straightforward car insurance is Defaqto 5 Star rated, so you can be sure you're getting a great product. Plus you can choose from a great range of optional extras.

Log in to MyAccount

Log in to MyAccount to manage your policy online. You can view and download documents at your convenience. If your policy number starts with 'XA' you can also make payments and changes to your policy online.

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