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Clé France

The French Property Network

Dec 11

You Have Got to Love a Christmas Market

FC Exchange

Learn more about Christmas markets in France like the one pictured above in Strasbourg.

For everything you need to know about French property visit

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Nov 26

Winter Motoring Safety Tips

If you are planning a viewing trip to France during the winter months then let us have a look at how you can avoid winter driving problems.

Of all the seasons, it is probably winter which presents the most challenging conditions for motorists. Falling temperatures combined with snow and ice can cause even the most experienced drivers a multitude of problems.

There are some simple steps we can all take in order to make motoring safer and more trouble free.

Did you know that when the time comes to insure your car in France we can supply the key points of your policy document in English - Find out more about our motor insurance.

Before you go out

Ensuring your windscreen, windows and mirrors are kept clean and free of snow or ice is a good starting point. And having wipers in good working order and a plentiful supply of water and winter-ready screen-wash should ensure your visibility isn’t impaired.

Remove any snow from your bonnet and roof as this can blow off at speed causing a hazard for you and other motorists.

Grip is going to be important and this means your tyres should be in a good condition. The legal limit for tread is 1.6mm but it is recommended that you have at least 3mm tread. In really wintry conditions, drivers may consider using snow chains or snow socks.

Plan your journey before you set off and give thought to locations which might be badly affected, such as flood prone areas, and monitor local weather forecasts.

Coping with winter weather

When roads are slippery it’s advisable to stay in as high a gear as possible and keeping your revs low. This reduces the chance of spinning your wheels and losing control.

Pay particular attention to your speed and the distance between you and the car in front. In wet conditions you should double the distance you normally would and in snow and ice distances should be up to 10 times further than normal.

As you approach a bend in the road you should have already slowed before entering the bend. If you do begin to skid, steer gently into it. For example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, steer to the right. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or brake hard.

Dipped headlights should be used in heavy rain and snow – daytime running lights may not be adequate. And if visibility falls below 100m then use your fog lights.

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security during a long journey in your nice and warm car. Keep an eye on the temperature outside and if it falls below freezing adjust your driving technique accordingly.

Even if you think frost has thawed, be aware that microclimates can occur on roads. For example, roads under bridges are often the first to freeze and the last to thaw.

Winter Driving

Avoid a breakdown

Cold weather can exacerbate underlying mechanical problems with cars so follow these tips to ensure your car is in good condition.

Check your fuel, oil, screen-wash and coolant levels before any journey, and keep an eye on your tyres. Make sure there is adequate tread and be alert to any uneven wearing as this can indicate problems with tyre pressures or steering.

And make sure your lights are working correctly – faulty bulbs or fuses could prevent your headlights, indicators or brakelights from working when you need them most.

Your brakes need to be in tip top condition for winter so if you notice they are becoming ‘spongy’, creating unusual noises, or if your car pulls to one side under braking then you should immediately get them checked by a mechanic. Even if you don’t encounter these symptoms keeping a check on how the pads are wearing is good practice.

Other warning signs to be aware of are ‘flaring’ engine revs during hard acceleration (which could mean a slipping clutch), intermittent knocking or droning sounds (possibly a worn wheel bearing), engine hesitation (may indicate a fuel system problem), or engine stutter (could indicate deteriorating spark plugs or spark plug leads).

More immediate problems can be indicated by a loud knocking noise from the engine – in which case you should stop your car and check the oil level on flat ground, topping up with a suitable grade of engine oil if you’re below the minimum on the dipstick.

What to pack in the car

A list of essentials which the RAC recommends you should carry in your car includes:

Ice scraper
​​Torch and spare batteries
Warm clothes and blankets
​High-visibility jacket
​Boots with good grip
​First aid kit
Jump start cables
Empty fuel can
Food and drink
Reflective warning sign
Road atlas
Phone charger

Here are some French 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!

More advice

For more winter driving advice you could visit the RAC’s winter driving pages.

Did you know that when the time comes to insure your car in France we can supply the key points of your policy document in English and with our English staff and English Speaking Staff you will have the easiest of times contacting and sorting out any insurance claims that you may have in the future, we hope you don't have to claim but if the need arises you can be assured of a quick and easy service in your own language.

Find out more about our motor insurance.

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Nov 1

Beaujolais Nouveau Time is Almost Here

Like Wine? You Gotta Try the Beaujolais Nouveau!

It’s November, and for those of us in the know, the 3rd Thursday of the month is a big deal. This day marks the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau wine!

South of Burgundy is a wine region known as Beaujolais. The climate is a bit warmer than Burgundy, so the Pinot Noir grapes popular in Burgundy don’t thrive so well in Beaujolais. That’s ok, though – there’s another grape described as a cousin to Pinot that grows very well in the area: the Gamay grape.

The Beaujolais region had always produced a wine celebrating the end of the harvest – basically, they’d make a wine, and it would be aged only a few weeks before being consumed. It wasn’t until World War II that this young wine could be purchased outside of the region. Marketers saw the potential in selling this wine elsewhere, and in the 1970s, the release of the wine had attracted a lot of media coverage. By the 1980s, the wine could be purchased in other countries in Europe, and in 1990s, it made its way to North America and Asia.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Fun fact: La récolte (the harvest) of these grapes is all done by hand! This can take up to 35,000 people working 15-20 days!

I know what you’re thinking – wine gets better with age, so why bother having some that’s only sat for a few weeks? The shorter the wine’s fermentation process, the fruitier it will be. Plus, this quick process means the wine will be less tannin. Qu’est-ce que c’est ? (What’s that?) You know how sometimes when you drink wine, your mouth tastes a bit dry afterward? That’s tannin.

These two characteristics combined produce a drinkable wine that pairs with almost anything. I was in Whole Foods the other day with my friend, and in the wine section, they were passing out samples of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau. Another customer tried it and commented on how well it went down and how normally he doesn’t like wine. This makes a very nice intro wine!

I’ll drink to that.

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

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Aug 18

Welcome to our New Updated Wesbite

You are on our Shiny Updated Website.

At Clé France, we are always looking to improve your experience searching for the perfect French property.

Your dreams can begin by searching and navigating our new website.

We have recently updated our website to include many more features and make your experience a whole lot better, or at least we hope we have done that, what do you think?

Some improvements we have made are:

* Mobile Friendly - Your experience using the site on a tablet or mobile device is much improved including viewing images of properties for sale.

* Larger image sizes - We have increased the size of our images so you can view the properties for sale in even greater detail.

* For Sellers - We have simplified the process of listing your property for sale with Clé France. Take a look at the 'Selling' tab for more good news, there is no charge now. 

* Sharing and Social Media - We have made it easier than ever for you to share your favourite properties with Friends and Family.

* Removed Clutter - We have made a big effort to remove clutter from the website and give you a bright, clean and clear screen so you can enjoy the fabulous properties for sale. 

* Website Security - With a dedicated server any data stored on the website has the latest security measures protecting it.

* Meet the Team - We have introduced a new page where you can 'Meet the Team' and contact any of us to ask questions you may have or indeed enquire about our services.

There are always improvements to be made on the website, so we value your feedback.

So take a tour of the new Clé France website and let us know what you think.

You can Meet the Team Here.

Kind regards, 
David Evans 
Co-Founder of Clé France.

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Aug 2

Rate Alert: Pound set to Plummet

Today there is an important rate meeting.

While it’s widely expected the Bank of England will hike rates, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

The UK economy has the slowest growth of the G7 economies. And there’s plenty of Brexit uncertainty that lies ahead.

The irony is that even if the Bank of England raises rates, it may in fact trigger a fall in the Pound, not a rise.

That’s because any rate rise today is likely to offset by a cautious outlook.

If you have exposure to the Pound, please contact us now for current exchange rates and guidance.

Click here for a free quote

Rate Alert - Click for a Quote

Thanks For Reading, What Next?

To discuss current exchange rates and currency purchasing strategies, please contact your trader today on 01872 487 500.

If you don't yet have an account please request a free quote and we’ll look after you from there.

Have a great day,

Geoff Lambourne - Direct Dial me on 0044 (0)1872 487 470.

Current rates: 

Wednesday 2nd August 2018 at 12:00

£1.00 GBP = 1.1252 EURO

£1.00 GBP = 1.3075 USD

£1.00 GBP = 1.7764 AUD

£1.00 GBP = 1.9361 NZD

£1.00 GBP = 1.7044 CAD

£1.00 GBP = 17.5827 ZAR

Need to Send Money Abroad?

At Clé France, many of our customers have a need for currency exchange.

We are pleased to have partnered with Key Currency to offer our customers favourable exchange rates on international currency transfers.

Key Currency is an award-winning currency exchange specialist, Key Currency Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Payment Institution (Financial Services Register No. 753989) and experienced in executing high-volume transactions.

As a Clé France website visitor, you qualify for preferential exchange rates when you transact through Key Currency.

Save money on your foreign currency transfers

Key Currency can save you money by offering more competitive rates of exchange than retail banks.

Clients can typically save you 3-4% of the total transaction value, which can result in significant cost savings.

All client funds are held in segregated accounts with top-tier banks keeping your money safe and secure.

Download our "Buying A Property in France" Guide PDF document.

Concerned about Brexit? download our "Buyers Guide to Brexit" PDF document.

For everything you need to know about French property visit 

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