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Moving to France

France is one of the most popular destinations for the British moving abroad. Finding the perfect removal company to ship your belongings at the most reasonable price may be your current challenge. We have just the right information and tools to make it all happen!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

How Much Does Moving Cost from the UK to France?

The cost of moving from the UK to France can significantly differ based on your chosen destination. For instance, relocating to Paris tends to be pricier compared to moving to a neighbouring municipality in the countryside. Hence, it’s crucial to plan your move from the UK to France thoroughly, considering all aspects and potential challenges of the relocation process.

Here’s the ballpark for UK-France removals with a professional moving firm:

House Size 20ft Shipping Container 40ft Shipping Container
1-2 Bedroom apartment £388 – £661£1,136 – £1,256
3-5 Bedroom apartment £793- £1,550£1,750 – £2,230

As you can see above, the average cost of moving from the UK to France roughly ranges from £400 to £3000. Ultimately, the overall cost for your move depends on the following factors:

  • Transport Method: sea, air, land
  • The weight of your cargo
  • The distance of the move
  • The timing of your move
  • Extra services that you request

Tips to Cut Costs on Your UK to France Move

Looking to make your move from the UK to France more budget-friendly? Exploring a group move is a smart strategy for reducing expenses, potentially cutting your overall cost with this hack by up to 50% through streamlined transport logistics.

Get up to 40% discount on your move to France

Benefit from up to 40% lower removal costs here!

Shipping light can simplify the moving process, but most likely you’re considering taking essential belongings and furniture with you—understandably. Therefore, obtaining a quote early on is a crucial step in your relocation planning.

What You Need to Know When Relocating to France

Embarking on a new journey to settle in France is an exciting adventure, full of opportunities and, of course, a fair amount of paperwork. Let’s dive into all you need to consider and provide you with some vital tips for making your move as seamless as possible:

1. Early Birds Win

Start scouting for a moving company early on to make life easier. Comparing costs from various international removal firms will help you find the ideal fit for you and save money along the way.

2. Navigating Post-Brexit Regulations

In light of Brexit, it’s essential to navigate the new regulations for UK nationals relocating to EU countries like France. Seasoned international moving companies are well-versed in post-Brexit requirements to guide you through the process smoothly. They can assist with important documentation such as duty-free import requests for your belongings.

➤ Residence Permit Application

Upon arrival in France, British citizens must apply for a residence permit from the local authorities within 8 days for stays exceeding 3 months. Given the evolving nature of post-Brexit rules, ensure you stay updated by consulting official channels, such as the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, and the UK Government’s Living in France guide.

Opt for a relocation firm experienced in UK-to-France relocation to receive tailored guidance and support throughout the process. Reach out to request personalised quotes below.

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3. Customs Formalities for a UK-France Move

British citizens wishing to move to France must declare their personal effects and household goods at French customs and British customs. You are exempt from customs taxes on the transport of your personal property if it has been in your possession for more than 6 months.

You must have resided for at least 12 months in the UK before your move. Furthermore, you cannot sell your personal property in the 12 months following your move to France. Your personal vehicle is also included in this regulation.

➤ Required Documents for Customs

For your international move, you must present an inventory of your goods to British and French customs. This document should mention your address in the UK and in France. The documents to present during your move are:

  • proof of a change of domicile (employment contract or rental lease)
  • customs exemption request form duly completed CERFA n°10070
  • inventory, in duplicate, detailed and cost of all your goods (including vehicles)
  • an identity document, valid

The Ultimate Moving to France Checklist

Here is a detailed yet concise rundown of the key administrative tasks that British citizens need to address upon relocating to France:

1. Administrative Declaration

The declaration to the town hall of your new place of residence in France is not compulsory, except in the municipalities of Alsace-Moselle.

2. Health Insurance and Social Security 

Anyone residing or working in France must be affiliated with French health insurance. You must register no later than three months from the date of arrival. French social security offers universal coverage, providing comprehensive benefits at no direct cost to individuals. This system encompasses health insurance, old-age pension plans, and unemployment benefits, ensuring a wide range of protections for all citizens.

3. Opening a Bank Account

It’s easy to open a bank account with a French bank. You simply need to have a valid identity document and proof of address less than 3 months old (electricity bill, tax notice, a rental contract, etc.). All banking establishments are obliged to declare the existence of foreign bank accounts as part of the fight against tax fraud.

4. Navigating the French Tax System

➤ Tax Obligations

Identifying your tax residency is a crucial step. You have the option to declare your tax residency either in the UK or France. In France, taxes, including income tax, are conveniently deducted at source from your salary.

➤ Housing Tax

This is a compulsory tax on accommodation occupied starting on January 1st. The tax rate is determined by communities and varies from city to city. This tax concerns the tenants and owners. Since 2020, the housing tax has been abolished for around 80% of the population depending on your tax status.

➤ Property Tax

This only concerns property owners (collection of household waste, etc.). This tax on accommodation starts on January 1st.

➤ Public TV

You are subject to the tax on public TV if your home is equipped with one or more televisions. The payment of this contribution is automatically included in your housing tax.

5. Diplomas and Employment

If you are moving to France for work, it may be necessary to get your diplomas recognised to exercise a regulated profession or in the context of continuing your studies.

ENIC-NARIC is the official body authorised to issue certificates of diplomas obtained abroad. Indeed, a recognition procedure may be mandatory to have the right to practice on French territory.

6. Driver’s License and Registration

For living in France, you may not have to exchange your British license for a French license. However, it is mandatory in the following cases:

  • If you request a new license category
  • If you commit a traffic violation in France (resulting in loss of points or suspension of your license).

7. Can You Bring Pets When Moving to France From the UK?

Absolutely, your furry pals can tag along on your move to France. Though, you’ll need to ensure you comply with specific legal prerequisites: Make sure your cat or dog is at least 12 weeks old and has a microchip. Don’t forget the rabies shot—your darling cat or dog will need that too. Additionally, grab a health certificate from your vet, documenting your pets’ health status. Once you’ve got that sorted, you and your fuzzy friend are all set for smooth entry into French territory.

Where to Move to in France?

If you are moving to France from England, you might choose to move to Southern France or to Paris. These are indeed the municipalities that attract the newest British residents. The regions and cities of South of France such as the areas of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Occitanie or Auvergne-Rhônes-Alpes account for nearly 1/3 of the British residents established in France.

What you Should Know Before Moving to France

Check out these important facts and figures about your soon to be country. New experiences are waiting to be uncovered in your new home:

1. How Many British Citizens Live in France?

France is one of the first destinations chosen by the British who move abroad. The attractiveness has regular growth each year. Indeed, France is home to one of the largest British communities abroad, estimated at 150,000 people.

2. Facts and Figures About Your New Home

Below is a table with the nitty-gritty you may find interesting when planning for your life in France:

Currency Euro
Population 67.12 million people
Capital Paris
Language French
Government Type Semi-presidential republic
Unemployment Rate 9.3%
Country Code +33
Religions Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28%

3. How Much Does It Cost to Live in France?

If you are relocating to France, it is important to know what the cost of living is. Income is higher in the UK, but the cost of living is more attractive in France. For example, many British retirees also choose to move abroad or buy a second home in France. Indeed, real estate prices are more affordable, especially in certain regions.

Take a look at this indicative cost of living comparison between France and the UK:

Restaurant€25 menu£26 menu
Gym€35€ 29

Rental Cost Comparison: France vs UK

The differences in rental prices are significant according to regions and cities in France. However, rental prices are much more affordable than in the UK:

CitiesStudio2 rooms apartment3 rooms apartment
Paris900 – 1300 €1100 – 2500 €1500 – 3000 €
Lyon400 – 700€700 -1200€900 – 1400€
Montpellier300 – 500€600- 800€700 – 1200€
Nice400 – 700€700 – 1400€900 – 1700€

4. How to Rent an Apartment in France?

To rent an apartment in France, you must submit an application to the owner or the real estate agent with the following supporting documents:

  • your last 3 payslips,
  • a copy of your employment contract,
  • your last 3 rent contract,
  • a security deposit (1 or 2 months rent),
  • as well as your last tax notice.

Home insurance is compulsory in France and it is up to the tenant to take out their own insurance for their accommodation. You can benefit from Personalised Housing Assistance (APL) for the most modest incomes, to request from CAF.

Why Opt for a Professional Remover for Your French Move?

Engaging a trusted international moving company can really make your move a breeze and your life significantly easier. They’re pros at getting your stuff from A to B and can even deal with all the tricky paperwork and red tape from customs and immigration for you. This means you can relax a bit more and focus on getting excited about your new place.

Remember: Make sure to check out different movers by filling out the quick form below. That way you can snag quotes from a bunch of international moving companies to secure the best deal!

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