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.
Healthcare - France’s healthcare system has a reputation for excellence and since 2000 the Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU) gives all French residents the right to state healthcare at a relatively low cost, which is useful in current times. If you relocate to France you will be obliged to apply for affiliation to the state healthcare system or CPAM. Healthcare isn’t completely free, so you will need a French top-up health insurance cover as well.
Schools - 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 - The first thing you'll notice when driving in France is how uncongested the roads are. If you decide to settle here for good you will have 3 months to change your number plates for French ones and secure French insurance.
Pensions - If you plan to retire to France you will be pleasantly surprised at how few taxes you will 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 pension arrangements with a financial advisor before moving to France to understand all the potential implications.
Pets - Pet passports have made it easy for people to take their pets with them when travelling. 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 will require special import permits. Looking for pet insurance in France?
The French Banking System - A French bank account is essential if you plan to relocate, work in France or if you require a French mortgage and you’ll also need it to pay bills if you own a property in France. One of the main differences to be aware of is that in France it is illegal to write a cheque if there are insufficient funds in your account to cover it. Bouncing a cheque can result in your name being blacklisted and you could be prevented from having a credit or debit card and cheque book for up to 5 years. It’s important to check the bank’s charging policy to avoid any unexpected fees. We can also assist with your currency requirements.