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Driving in France - En Voiture

The summer can mean lots of wonderful things, including spending time at the beach, barbecuing with friends and family, and trips to new and exciting locales. This means traveling, which means you might be spending a lot more time in your car.

In French, the word for car is voiture. The word voiture is feminine, so it is la voiture. The verb "to drive" in French is conduire. Conduire can also mean "to conduct or lead" in addition its main definition.

Conduire is also an irregular verb. Here is the conjugation of conduire in the present tense:

je conduis

tu condius

il/elle/on conduit

nous conduisons

vous conduisez

ils/elles conduisent

Driving in France

But there are many others words that you just might need to use when you’re driving a car. In fact, if you happen to be driving a car in a French-speaking country, learning vocabulary related to cars and driving might be important for safety reasons. Here are some words that might be useful to you:

La ceinture de sécurité - Seat belt

Le klaxon - horn

Le volant - the steering wheel

Le tableau de bord - the dashboard

Le clignotant - the turn signal/indicator

Le phare - the headlight

Le rétroviseur - the rearview mirror

Le frein - the brake

Le capot - the hood

Le coffre - the trunk

Le pneu - the tire

Le pare-brise - the windshield

L’essuie glace (m) - the windshield wiper

Le permis de conduire - driver’s license

La plaque d’immatriculation - license plate

Démarrer - To start (the ignition)

There are also certain phrases that might be useful if you fall into any problems while driving in France. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use some of the following phrases!

L’autoroute est payante - The highway charges tolls.

Je suis en panne d’essence - I ran out of gas.

Il faut que je fasse le plein - I need to fill up the tank.

J’ai un pneu crevé - I have a flat tire.

C’est un feu vert/rouge - It’s a green/red light.

Il faut gonfler les pneus - The tires need to be inflated.

Il y a un problème de freins - There’s a problem with the brakes.

Le pare-brise est cassé - The windshield is broken.

Ma voiture est en panne - My car broke down.

If you are traveling this summer, amusez-vous bien et bon voyage!

Cle Mortgages

Blog submitted by: Alex at The French Property Network - Cle France.

This blog was originally posted on The French Language Blog pages.

Add Comment | Views: 128

Sharon at Cle France was extremely helpful

Hi Sharon,

I have just received all your emails, many thanks will be in touch soon. You were extremely helpful.

Mrs L Tack.

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Driving in France this summer

Some Tips for Driving in France this Summer!

Just like any other year a lot of you may be preparing to take a trip to France. Thousands of holiday makers and visitors will be heading to France to soak up the sun, sights and sounds - but do you know the rules of the road when you get there?

According to a recent uSwitch survey, one in three UK and Irish drivers are unaware you have to drive on the right-hand side of the road in France, while three quarters are unaware the drink-drive limit is stricter in France.

Cle France Blog

These findings prompted Admiral Insurance to take a look at what their own customers get up to when driving abroad and where they're most likely to get into a spot of bother.

The research revealed the majority of customer claims abroad in 2015 happened in France, so here are some tips on what to expect when driving abroad.

1. Check you are covered - call your insurer to find out and make sure to take your certificate of insurance with you. If you've not been driving long or are under the age of 25 you'll need to check with the DVLA if you are unsure whether you can drive abroad

2. They drive on the right over there - as close as we are to France they do things differently when it comes to which side of the road to drive on. Don't get caught out!

3. Stay clear of alcohol - obviously lots of fans will be keen to indulge in a drink or two while supporting their country however, for those driving to their destination it's best to avoid the booze altogether. At 0.5mg per ml the French drink drive limit is lower than the UK limit of 0.8mg per ml so be extra careful when driving the day after a drink

4. Take a breather - according to the uSwitch survey, only 17% of respondents were aware they need to have a working breathalyser in the car with them at all times. Don't worry you can pick these up quite cheaply from Halfords or online

5. Warning signs - you'll need to make sure you have a warning triangle to put up just in case you breakdown or get into a bump

6. Dress accordingly - in addition to the breathalyser and warning triangle you'll also need a reflective jacket or waistcoat.

What about claiming abroad?

Accidents happen no matter where you go; in fact, during 2015, Admiral customers reported 716 of them. Out of those, 476 involved male customers and 240 involved female drivers.

France was the most likely spot for an accident to occur when one of our customers was abroad and there were 346 claims made there during 2015. Claiming while you're abroad isn't too different to being in the UK and you'll need to let your insurance caompany know as soon as the incident occurs.

One big difference when claiming in Europe is the fact you'll need to fill out the Agreed Statement of Facts on Motor Vehicle Accident form, you'll need to print a copy before you go.

The form is known as the Constat Amiable in France and the version you fill in will be in French - the version you print off can be used as a guide to help you fill out the form given to you by the third party.

Filling this in allows you to get your version of events across but beware, signing anywhere on the form without ticking any of the boxes in section 12 means you're agreeing with the third party's version of events.

Just like in the UK be sure to get the name and insurance details of the other driver and any passengers, photos of the incident and damage if you are able and the registration of the other vehicle. If the accident involves a lorry you'll need the registration of both the trailer and cab.

Cle Mortgages

Blog submitted by: David at The French Property Network - Cle France.

This blog was originally posted by Admiral Insurance.

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Driving in France

My earliest Holiday memories are of driving through France and stopping off at small family run hotels when the light started to dim, not booking anywhere just seeing where the road would take us. These are holidays I will never forget.

Many years later I would be the driver of the car and my family would be enjoying the 'carefree' approach that comes with a driving holiday in France. It can be a great way of getting into the heart of the French countryside and experiencing traditional France.

But when you are driving through France there are a few things you need to be aware of.

Did you know that the legal age to drive in France is 18 years of age and even if you have a full licence from another country and you are under that age, then you are still not allowed to drive in France?

Every passenger must wear a seatbelt and it is illegal for a child under the age of 10 to be in the front seat. Babies are allowed to travel in the front passenger seat, but only when placed in an approved rear-facing baby seat and the airbag is turned off.

You must always stop at a zebra crossing, which is enforced by law and when going through a town you will find a lot of them; but you should be very careful when you are the pedestrian, as the French do not seem to obey this rule as much as they should!

Watch your speed!  If you are stopped for speeding you can be fined on the spot and the fines have to be paid in cash there and then, which can be quite expensive.  If you cannot pay or you are travelling more than 25km/h above the speed limit, then your car can be impounded and you could end up with a very hefty fine or even lose your licence. So be careful, especially when on the toll roads, as you do not want your driving holiday to come to an abrupt end!

The motorways are 130km per hour, but this is reduced in bad weather down to 110km per hour and on duel carriageways and main roads the same rules apply, where the speed limit is reduced in bad weather.  A duel carriageway is 110km per hour and main roads are 90km per hour, with the peripherie being 80km per hour and towns or minor roads being a maximum of 50km per hour.  Our top tip to save money would be "don't fill up on the motorway!" Wait until a major intersection near a town or city, and come off the motorway. You will almost certainly find a hypermarket / superstore within a kilometre or so of the exit, offering cut price fuel. The saving can be us much as 15 centimes per litre.

Here are the normal speed limits for driving in France:

  • The normal speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/hr (just over 80 mph). - or 110 km/hr in rain.
  • The normal speed limit on dual carriageways (divided highways) 110 km/hr
  • The normal speed limit on main roads is 90 km/hr (outside built-up areas)
  • The normal speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/hr – unless otherwise indicated.

The French Government do publish information on exactly where speed traps are located and this is one of the reasons why it is illegal to have a radar detector fitted to your vehicle.

In bad weather, fog etc, even during the day, it is compulsory to use your lights but you do not have to keep your lights on during the day at any other time.

Obviously you must have deflectors fitted to your headlights if you have a right-hand drive vehicle and by law you must have a set of replacement bulbs, a warning triangle and a 'gilet' high visibility waistcoat with you at all times.  But it is always advisable to check the regulations prior to your holiday in France, as they do change from time to time.

Most of the rules are common sense and are the same as in the UK such as it is an offence to hold and use a mobile phone while driving in France. Hands-free use of mobile phones is not illegal. Though many drivers ignore this rule, traffic police are clamping down on drivers holding phones to their ears while driving, and drivers are liable to an on-the-spot fine.

The insurance document is most commonly the "green card", though a standard insurance document from any EU country provides basic insurance for your vehicle (third party cover) throughout the Union, whether or not a green card is provided. Check in with your insurer before you arrive in France to insure you are covered correctly. 

Breakdown or accident: If you are involved in any accident involving two or more vehicles while driving in France, you will be asked to fill in a "constat amiable" (an amiable declaration) by the driver of a French car involved. This is standard practice. If possible, call your insurance company at once on your mobile phone. They may put you in touch with a local French representative. If your car is immobilised on or partly on the road due to a breakdown or an accident, you must set up your red warning triangle at a suitable distance behind the vehicle, to alert approaching traffic to the hazard.

If you are involved in an accident involving any sort of injury - even if it is not your fault - you MUST remain until the police have come.

So, armed with all the essential information you need, and with your vehicle well prepared for the journey, enjoy the experience and the beautiful scenery when you are on your driving holiday in France.

Blog submitted by: David at Cle France.

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Currency Rate Alert 15.08.2017

Pound Tumbles as UK Inflation Surprises to the Downside 

The pound fell against a host of currency majors including the euro (GBP/EUR) and the US dollar (GBP/USD) on Tuesday following disappointing UK inflation figures. The British consumer price index (CPI) unexpectedly remained stable at 2.6%, rather than attaining the 2.7% economists had forecast. 

The reading gives the Bank of England (BoE) more breathing room when it comes to interest rate adjustments. It was suspected that higher consumer prices would lead to higher interest rates, but as inflation cools recording -0.1% in the month of July rather than 0.0% as forecast, investors are likely to adjust their expectations for a rate rise this year. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) inflation report read: ‘The largest downward effect came from transport, in particular motor fuels. Fuel prices fell by 1.3% between June and July 2017, the fifth successive month of price decreases. This contrasts with the same period last year, when fuel prices rose by 0.7%. This was offset by smaller upward contributions from a range of goods and services. The 12-month inflation rates for some of the broad groupings (namely food and non-alcoholic beverages; clothing and footwear; miscellaneous goods and services; furniture and household goods) have edged up to the highest seen for several years.’ 

Households are feeling the squeeze of higher consumer prices with wage growth lethargic and falling behind price growth. Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, stated earlier in the year that 2017 would be testing for households as the UK adjusts. 

A treasury spokesperson commented on the topic of wage growth, saying: ‘Although inflation is likely to start falling next year, we understand some families are concerned today about the cost of living. That is why we have given the lowest paid a pay rise through the National Living Wage and are cutting taxes for 31 million people.’

The pound to euro (GBP/EUR) exchange rate is currently trending in the region of 1.0968.

FC Exchange

Current rates:

Tuesday 15th August 2017 at 16:15

£1.00 GBP = 1.0968 EURO

£1.00 GBP = 1.2856 USD

£1.00 GBP = 1.6441 AUD

£1.00 GBP = 1.7762 NZD

£1.00 GBP = 1.6407 CAD

£1.00 GBP = 167.1323 ZAR

Just imagine if YOU could forecast the exchange rate?

No one can do that of course but being well informed is a good start and knowing the events coming up that may influence the exchange rate may help you with your planning.

The latest quarterly currency market forecasts from the international money transfer experts, FC Exchange, are now available. The reports are essential reading for anyone buying or selling a property, in fact anyone making international money transfers.

The currency markets will always fluctuate, but last year saw unprecedented levels of volatility. The currency forecasts review the factors that have contributed to the uncertainty we have seen and look ahead to the issues that could affect currency markets in the next quarter and throughout 2017.

Grab your Free Report here... 

FC Exchange Market Report

Do you want more information ?

So if you need to buy or sell sterling and would like to be kept up to date with all the latest data releases and exchange rate movements then feel free to contact myself Ben Amrany. If you are buying or selling a house in France we will make sure your monies are in the right place at the right time, we work hand in hand with you and Cle France.

For more information on the currency service I can provide please feel free to contact myself...

Ben Amrany from FC Exchange follow this link or phone and ask for myself and quote "Cle France" on 020 7989 0000.

You may contact me directly using this form (click here) with your requirement and I will explain the options that are available to you in getting the best exchange rate.

FC Exchange

For everything you need to know about French property visit www.clefrance.co.uk

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