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 or frontline health┬ácare 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

Driving laws around the world

Do you know where it's illegal to drink water at the wheel?

Aside from driving on the other side of the road, what other motoring laws do you know from other European countries? We've rounded up some of our favourites so you don't get caught out the next time you set off on a Euro driving adventure.

Driving abroad.

France's breathalyser requirement

If you're driving through France one thing you want to make sure you've packed is a breathalyser as French law states a valid breathalyser must always be carried in your car. Under the rules, the breathalyser needs to be unused and have the French 'NF' mark of quality certification.

Perhaps the oddest part of this law is the original fine of €11 was postponed indefinitely in 2013 so while it's against the law to travel without a breathalyser, no actual penalty can be imposed if you're caught without one.

Eating and drinking laws in Cyprus

If you get thirsty behind the wheel in Cyprus, make sure you pull over as it's against the law to eat or drink anything whilst driving. If you're caught breaking the rules, you could face a fine of €85 and receive up to 4 points on your licence.

Did you know?

  • You need a permit to drive through some historic zones in Italy.
  • It's possible to receive a fine for driving with a dirty car in Russia.
  • You can be fined for splashing a pedestrian with a puddle in the UK.
  • If you're driving a British car in Europe, it must display the GB symbol.

Source: confused.com

Be seen in Scandinavia

To avoid an on-the-spot fine and increase being seen on the roads in Scandinavia, keep your headlights on at all times of the day. This is regardless of when you travel over there as it's a legal requirement all year round.

Parking particulars in Spain

Parking regulations in most major cities in Spain are tied to the day of the month. Some areas see parking allowed on one side of the street from the 1st to the 15th, with sides swapping in the latter half of the month.

One-way streets have even more complex rules, with parking permitted on the side with houses on even-numbered days of the month, and the opposite side of the road on odd-numbered days.

If you're confused, follow the locals to make sure your car doesn't get towed with an additional fine on top.

Iceland's off-road areas

While Iceland's landscape might look like it was made for off-roading, it's illegal to do so unless in a clearly marked area or if there's a significant amount of ice or snow covering the ground.

Breaking this law can lead to a substantial fine as its aim is to protect the country's flora and fauna.

As well as making sure you know the local laws, it's vital you check your insurance to make sure your policy allows you to travel overseas and any other restrictions it might have.

Are you planning a driving holiday soon? Or perhaps you've just returned from a summer holiday exploring Europe on four wheels? Let us know how you got on.

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