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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

Why do so many people avoid parallel parking?

We've all been there… nightmare morning, running late, driven around for 15 minutes trying to find a parking space, maybe a screaming child or two in the back? All of a sudden a space opens up: bingo! But there are cars parked either side and the space is far from generous. The pressure's on.

And it's even worse when captured on camera, as one unlucky driver recently discovered. She was filmed taking 7 minutes and 18 failed manoeuvres to get into a space. If that wasn't bad enough, the video then went viral.

Unsurprisingly, these things can often result in minor bumps on roads and in car parks across the country, which in turn can have an adverse effect on the cost of your insurance. So it's tempting not to leave a note or tell your insurer — after all, no damage is visible and no one was hurt, right?

Parallel parking animation.

Don't 'dent and run'

In a recent survey of 1000 drivers, all admitted accidentally damaging another car. Of those who 'dented and ran', more than a third said they didn't feel guilty about it. And more than a quarter admitted doing damage, such as creating a visible dent in the other car.

It might seem like there's no harm done but that's not always the case. Often a low speed impact will cause minor damage by dislodging or scratching a bumper. Doing damage to another car and not owning up is an important issue. In fact, it's a crime.

The Road Traffic Act says you should always leave your details at the scene of an incident. If you don't, you've got up to 24 hours after to drop them into the local police station.

You should always tell your insurer too, however small the bump. Failure to keep them up to date with your driving history can result in any claims you make being rejected or your policy being cancelled.

Do you have parallelophobia?

"Human beings are not genetically programmed to go backwards, so reversing in general is really quite difficult when you're learning to drive," says Kevin Delaney at the Institute of Advanced Motorists. He's not wrong, over half of drivers say they'll carry on driving to avoid parallel parking.

Dubbed 'parallelophobia', there are a number of reasons people find it difficult. It's a more technical manoeuvre, with the added worry of damaging your own or someone else's car. Having other drivers waiting for you to park or a friend or partner in the car with you, can also make it a lot more stressful.

The secret to the perfect parallel? Delaney says confidence and practise is the key. Who'd have thought?

Did you know?

  • 34% of drivers find parallel parking the most difficult parking technique.
  • 8% of drivers admit to bumping the car in front or behind while parallel parking.
  • Drivers say finding a parking space is the 15th most stressful thing in life.

Source: confused.com

The good news

Thanks to advances in technology, parking's getting easier. A number of developments such as parking sensors, reverse cameras and autonomous driving mean we're well on the way to a less stressful and accident free parking experience.

The technology behind car parking sensors has been around since the 70s and was developed to create guidance devices for the blind. It took 30 years to see the technology arrive in motor vehicles, with the Toyota Prius in 2003.

Surprisingly, the idea of the reverse camera dates back to the Buick Centurion in 1956. Combined with parking sensors, the two complement one another to give a clearer picture of the obstacles around us.

If you think no one can park your car for you — think again. The BMW i3 (released in 2015), can park itself fully autonomously and even engage the handbrake for you. Ford and Volvo have plans to get fully autonomous cars on the road by 2021.

As well as a more stress-free drive, new technology should help to keep the cost of insurance down, by reducing the number of small claims as drivers touch bumpers when parking.

If your car's been damaged whilst parked you can still make a claim but remember, if your insurer can't reclaim their costs then it could affect your no claims discount.

At Hastings Direct we pride ourselves on offering quality insurance at competitive prices. Our Direct and Premier car policies are Defaqto 5 star rated and come with a range of great benefits as standard.

Get a quote today and see how much you could save.

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