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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 parking your car has become a tight squeeze

Have you ever struggled to squeeze your car into a space in the car park? Frustrating, isn't it? While this used to be caused by other people's bad parking, it seems it could now be due to the size of the parking space.

Parallel parking animation.
By Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons,
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

For decades the average car parking space in the UK has been set at 4.8m x 2.4m. But the popularity of larger cars and SUVs has soared in recent years and even smaller vehicles like the Vauxhall Corsa are significantly larger than they were. In fact, the Daily Telegraph reports that popular hatchback models have increased in size by an average 16% in the last 15 years. Most family cars now measure close to, or more than, 5 metres.

Add that to the fact that many car parks come with the extra stress of concrete pillars and tight ramps, it's easy to see why some of them have become unusable.

Bigger cars equal more accidents

A recent report by claims firm Accident Exchange says parking-related incidents now account for more than 30% of all accident claims, and the average individual repair bill is just over £2000. Their research estimates there's been a 35% increase in parking accidents since 2014, at a cost of about £1.4bn to UK insurers per year.

The UK's largest car park provider recently stated spaces are being made bigger to meet the demands of larger cars and 4x4s. They're working hard to address the issue, having already widened some bays in London, Manchester and Bournemouth.

How to reverse parallel park:

  • Line the back of your car with the back of the car in front of the space.
  • While stationary, turn your steering wheel all the way to the left
  • Check all your mirrors and blind spots and keep checking them as you slowly start to reverse
  • Stop when the front left corner of the car behind you is in the middle of your rear windscreen
  • While stationary, turn your steering wheel back to the middle position
  • Slowly reverse until your front bumper clears the car in front and stop
  • While stationary, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right
  • Slowly reverse as your car straightens out.

How to avoid car parks

Some people will avoid parallel parking at all costs, preferring to take the risk of parking in a car park. But learning how to parallel park properly will certainly give you more options.

The best way to get good at parallel parking is, quite simply, practice. If you're just learning, try to find quieter roads, where you're less likely to get pressure from other drivers. There is plenty of advice to help you master the best technique; you could even invest in a parking sensor to help you park perfectly.

Make sure you're covered

Regardless of what sized car you drive, it's important to make sure your insurance policy is fully up-to-date and that you have the correct insurance in place, should your car get damaged.

All information is correct at time of publication. Hastings Direct cannot be held responsible for any misinformation displayed.

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