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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

Show more

  • 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

The lowdown on graduated driving licences

Graduated driving licensing (GDL) is a scheme that sees new drivers developing their skills and experience over time, in structured stages. If you've never heard of the system before, it's because it isn't currently place in the UK – but that could all be changing soon.

Stoptober.

DfT proposes UK GDL scheme

In late April, it was revealed the Department for Transport (DfT) would be looking into introducing GDL in the UK, which would mean new drivers face some restrictions before and after passing their test.

Included in the DfT's proposals is:

  • A limit on how many passengers a new driver could carry
  • The requirement to display 'P' plates for two years
  • Learners having to undergo at least six months of driving training before sitting their practical test.

As the BBC reported, Northern Ireland wants to introduce GDL, although any changes need to receive sign off by the NI Assembly. The scheme, if approved, would act as a pilot to decide whether or it should be rolled out to the rest of the UK.

Is there proof graduated driving licences work?

GDL has been successfully implemented in countries around the world, including Australia and New Zealand, and recent statistics are testament to the positive impact the scheme has had in improving road safety.

In fact, road safety charity Brake is a pioneer of the scheme, explaining it's a 'vital, life-saving policy because young drivers in all countries are known to be at very high risk of serious and fatal crashes, and GDL helps to address this.'

Here are some of the figures cited by Brake:

  • In New Zealand, car crash injuries have dropped by 23% for 15-19 year-old drivers and 12% for 20-24-year-olds since the introduction of GDL
  • In the US, 16-year-olds under the GDL scheme have 37% fewer car accidents each year, and 17% fewer crashes per mile driven
  • It's predicted more than 500 lives could be saved every year in the US if every state enforced the toughest GDL scheme.

In Britain, it's thought GDL could prevent over 400 deaths and serious injuries each year, and save £200m annually through crash prevention.

Brake has set out its own suggested requirements for a UK-based GDL scheme, which it believes will limit young driver casualties. Just some of its many proposals include:

  • A minimum learning period of 12 months before drivers can sit their driving, theory and hazard awareness tests
  • Accompanying drivers to be registered as 'approved accompanying drivers' by completing a questionnaire to prove their suitability
  • Qualified drivers holding a novice licence for two years after passing their test
  • Restrictions on engine sizes for novice drivers
  • A further 10 hours of professional tuition, which would see drivers using motorways and driving at night.

What do drivers think?

Research from the RAC Foundation uncovered two-thirds (68%) of adults in Britain support the introduction of GDL for new drivers.

Perhaps surprisingly, the drivers facing the stricter rules brought about by GDL also support the initiative. A total 41% think it's a good idea, compared to 32% who oppose it.

New drivers might not have the freedom their predecessors enjoyed, but if it gives them a chance to fine-tune their driving skills and experience, at the same time as reducing accidents and deaths on the UK's roads, the introduction of GDL can only be a good thing.

Sources:

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