Essential Guide to Living in France

Information about Living in France

French Taxes

Your property will be subject to a local property tax called the ‘taxe fonciere’ and a ‘tax d’habitation’, which is similar to the UK council tax. These are calculated by the local authority and charged annually. When completing on your French property, that year’s taxes will be split pro-rata between buyer and seller on completion. Our experienced team of French tax and law experts can assist you with every aspect of buying or living in France.

The Reality of Brexit

Sadly Brexit has changed the face of buying properties abroad; now that the UK is out of the EU, buying property and Visa rules for staying in France have become more complicated. Is it still possible to buy property there? Yes. Learn more in our essential post-Brexit guide.

Healthcare in France

France’s healthcare system has a reputation for excellence and since 2000 the Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU) provides French residents with the right to state healthcare at a relatively low cost. If you relocate to France you must apply for affiliation to the state healthcare system or CPAM. Healthcare isn’t completely free, and you will need a top-up health & medical insurance cover.

French Education System

State education in France is well funded and of a good standard. You also have the option of private and international schools. The local Mairie should have all the information you need about local schools and nurseries.

Driving in France

The first thing you'll notice when driving in France is how uncongested the roads are, especially as you arrive in the countryside or in the mountains in winter. If you decide to settle here for good you will have just 3 months to change your number plates for French ones and secure insurance, it's compulsory and is often checked.

Receiving a Pension in France

If you plan to retire to France you may be surprised at how few taxes you will have to pay. However, French residents are liable for tax on worldwide income so even if your pension is drawn in the UK it must be declared in France, although you will not be expected to pay twice. It’s advisable to discuss your arrangements with a financial advisor before moving to France to understand all the potential implications. Our UK-based tax experts can assist you with every aspect of retiring in France and we can assist with regular money transfers if required.

Pets in France

Pet passports have made it easy for people to take their pets with them when travelling to France and Europe. Make sure you have the correct paperwork with you and check the latest regulations with the French Ministry of Agriculture before you leave the UK as certain animals and breeds will require special import permits. Looking for an insurance quote for your cat or your dog(s).

The French Banking System

A bank account is essential if you relocate, work in France or if you require a French mortgage and you’ll need it to pay utility bills if you own a property in France. One of the main differences to be aware of is that it is illegal to make a payment if there are insufficient funds in your account to cover it. Bouncing a payment may result in your name being blacklisted and you could be prevented from having a credit or debit card for up to five years. It’s important to check the bank’s charging policy to avoid unexpected fees.

Essential Information