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).
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  • 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

2mph limit for towns? A quick look at the history of speeding

Speed camera.

Speeding's one of the most common bad habits committed by UK drivers. In fact, a national survey conducted by RED Driving School earlier this year found half of British motorists break the speed limit daily. But the speed limits in the UK have not always been what they are now.

Did you know Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, became the first person in the UK to be charged with speeding after he was caught travelling around 8mph, exceeding the 2mph limit for towns, on 28 January 1896?

At this time, as well as having a 2mph speed limit for towns, all other roads had a limit of 4mph. As the capabilities of cars increased, so too did the speed limit, increasing to 14mph in 1896 and 20mph in 1903. Then, in 1930, speed limits for cars and motorcycles were abolished.

Speed limit-free roads in the UK didn't last long though. The general speed limit of 30mph on roads in built-up areas, essentially roads with street lighting, that's in place today was imposed in 1934.

The national upper limit of 70mph for cars and motorcycles on dual carriageways and motorways and the speed limit of 60mph on single carriageways were not implemented until 1977.

Did you know?

  • 50% of motorists admitted to speeding on a daily basis.
  • 65% of motorists admitted they've driven through a red light.
  • 35% of motorists admitted they tailgate people they feel drive too slowly.
  • 45% of motorists have overtaken dangerously when behind someone they felt was too slow.

Source: Daily Mirror

Speeding around the world

In recent years there have been calls to increase the speed limit on motorways in the UK to 80mph, but just how do our speed limits compare to those around the world?

Germany's famous for its autobahns, which have no speed limits. But, according to official figures, the average speed's 88mph.

But it's not just Germany that's without speed limits. The Isle of Man has abandoned them, too, but, unlike Germany, it has no motorways.

While the rest of mainland Europe also has higher limits than the UK, Sweden, Latvia and Moldova are among some of the few that reside in the comparatively gentle 68mph group.

What do you think about the current motorway speed limit? Should it be increased to 80mph? Let us know your thoughts.


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