Admiral vs Hastings Direct: Compare Car Insurance

Compare Admiral vs Hastings car insurance quotes

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Is Admiral or Hastings Direct the better car insurance company for you? Admiral and Hastings Direct are two of the largest car insurance companies in the UK (#1 and #4, respectively), and both brands rank in our list of top 10 car insurance companies UK. The NimbleFins car insurance experts read their 2024 policy wordings and composed this feature-by-feature breakdown to help you select which might be best for you.

Quick Overview: Admiral vs. Hastings Direct Car insurance

Each company offers a different set of features, which can make it difficult to decide which is best for you. Below we recap some of the best features of each, as well as what's missing. From our comparison, we primarily looked at the standard Admiral comprehensive car insurance plan (they also have two higher tiers, Gold and Platinum, and a lower tier called Essential) and the mid-tier for Hastings called Hastings Direct (they have a lower tier, Essentials, and a higher tier, Premier) because these plans generally seem closest matched in terms of features and price. But we will mention the other tiers, as well.

What we like about Admiral

The standard Admiral tier of car insurance, rated 4 out of 5 stars by our editors, is superior to Hastings Direct for the following notable reasons:

  • Child car seat replacement (no limit of cover vs £300 for Hastings Direct)
  • Stereo and satellite nav (higher £1,250 for aftermarket vs £300 for Hastings Direct)

What we like about Hastings Direct

Hastings Direct, rated 4 by our editors, is superior to Admiral for the following reasons:

  • Higher belongings cover (up to £300 vs £200 for Admiral)
  • Higher alternative transport & hotel after accident (£50 for each person, up to a maximum of £250)
  • Lower cancellation fees (£15 - £25 cheaper than Admiral)

Here's a quick, high level comparison of how Admiral and Hastings Direct compare on cost, features, customer service access and customer ratings.

Car Insurance ComparisonAdmiralHastings Direct

More expensive for our sample driverCheaper for our sample driver

Superior Features
  • Child seat replacement limit
  • Stereo and satellite nav limit
  • Alternative transport & hotel after accident feature
  • Higher coverage for belongings
  • Lower cancellation fees
  • Cheaper for our sample driver

Customer Service Access
Webchat and phones lines open 7 days a week, including bank holidaysWebchat and phones lines open 7 days a week, including bank holidays

Customer Ratings
  • Trustpilot 4.5 out of 5
  • Trustpilot 4.2 out of 5
Read NimbleFins' Admiral ReviewRead NimbleFins' Hastings Direct Review

Admiral vs Hastings Direct Overall Review

The most important thing to compare is what each policy offers. In this case, Admiral and Hastings Direct differ in five key areas.

Personal belongings: Hastings Direct, because their belongings cover is £300 (vs. £200 for Admiral). If you have expensive belongings you leave in your car, this is one to bear in mind.

Onward travel after an accident: Hastings Direct offers £50 per person (max £250) for hotel/transport after accident, which is not included in Admiral's standard comprehensive cover (but it is included up to £150 in Gold and Platinum).

Cancellation fees: Also, cancellation fees are noticeably lower with Hastings (£0 during cooling off period and £45 after vs £25 and £60 for Admiral), BUT Hastings do charge a £20 arrangement fee for new and renewing policies, which does bring the overall fees you'll pay in line with Admiral.

Electronic equipment: The Admiral stereo and satellite navigation feature has a higher level of cover, protecting 'aftermarket' equipment up to £1,250 compared to Hastings Direct's £300. (Both offer full cover for original, manufacturer-fitted equipment).

Child seat: While Admiral will replace your child car seat with no upper limit on the value if you're in an accident, Hastings Direct only covers up to £300. This won't be enough to cover high-end child seats.

To reiterate, this is comparing the standard 'Admiral' product to the 'Hastings Direct' product.

Admiral vs Hastings Direct Cost Comparison

The table below compares the part something we all care about... the cost of the insurance.

For our sample driver, it appears that Hastings Direct's comprehensive policy is significantly more expensive than Admiral's at the moment. In previous tests, it was the other way around. But given the relatively comparable cover, it seems to us that Admiral offers better value right now (at least for our sample driver) and this supports our ranking of Admiral ahead of Hastings in our list of best car insurance quotes—but it's really important to compare prices yourself as they may differ significantly.

What Policy?Annual
Hastings Direct£918

These quotes are based on a 45-year-old male driving a 2017 Ford Fiesta, 5,000 miles a year. He parks at home. He has been driving for 20 years and has 5 years of no claims. Car insurance quotes are extremely sensitive and very case specific. For example, car insurance costs vary by age quite significantly. Please ensure you get your own quotes before making a decision.

Admiral vs Hastings Direct Reviews and Ratings Compared

In this section, Hastings beats out Admiral for customer ratings on Trustpilot and With an impressively high rating on both platforms—4.21 on is particularly great. This could be a reflection of Hastings Direct having great customer service.

Review SiteAdmiral RatingsHastings Direct Ratings
Trustpilot4.5 out of 54.2 out of 5

Admiral vs Hastings Direct Cancellation Fees Compared

No one expects to cancel their car insurance—it could mean you've had to sell your car—but you may have to. If that is the case, knowing your cancellation fees is important.

Looking at the table below, you'll see that Hastings Direct applies no fee when canceling during the cooling-off period but £45 after that period. Admiral will charge a £25 fee during the cooling-off period then £55 after that period. In both cases, the insurance provider will refund based on the amount of days you have been insured. It's important to note there is an extra £5 fee, when cancelling, if you bought any policy changes with Admiral.

Mid-term changes are adjustments such as an address or registration plate change. This is more common than you think. Admiral will change between £9.50 to £100. While Hastings Direct will charge £0 to £30.

When Are You CancellingAdmiralHastings Direct
During cooling off£25£0
After cooling off period£60£45
Mid-term admin changes£25up to £30

But keep in mind that Hastings charges a £20 arrangement fee, which is not refundable if you cancel.

Important Phone Numbers

Admiral and Hastings Direct have similar opening times, although Hastings is open later every day, compared to Admiral.

Admiral's webchat opens earlier and closes later than Hastings Direct's webchat, every single day of the week. Some days offering over 12 hours of service and others slightly under. This is great, especially compared to Hasting Direct's maximum of 10 hours.

Opening HoursAdmiralHastings Direct
Customer Service (Mon-Fri)8am-7pm8am - 9pm
Customer Service (Sat)9am-5pm9am-5:30pm
Customer Service (Sun)9:30am-4pm10am-5pm
Customer Service (Bank Holiday)9:30am-4pm9am-5pm
Webchat (Mon-Fri)7am-10:45pm8am-6pm
Webchat (Sat)8am-7:45pm9am-1pm
Webchat (Sun)8am-7:45pm10am-1pm
Emergency Hotline24-hour24-hour

Admiral Contact Numbers

Admiral Contact Numbers
Customer Service (UK)0333 220 2000
Renewals0333 222 6715
Claims (in UK)0333 220 2033

24 Hour Helplines
Windscreen Claims0333 220 2025
Accident recovery0800 600 840

Policy Documents

More information about Admiral car insurance policies can be found by reading their policy documents.

More information about Hastings Direct car insurance policies can be found by reading their policy documents.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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