Moving to France
Greens Removals provide international removals to France. If you are moving house to France from the UK, or are returning the other way, we offer a range of removals services for house removals, furniture removals and business moves between most European and international destinations. We provide international removals to all areas of France including the cities of Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lille, Rennes, Reims, Saint-Étienne, Toulon, Grenoble, Angers, Dijon, Brest and Nîmes.
For all international removals to France we can either provide you with the following options:
When arranging your removal to France, please ensure you advise us of any potential problems our drivers may face when accessing your property. For example, narrow country lanes in rural areas or problems with traffic or parking in cities such as Paris. If we are warned in advance, we can work with you to find a solution to avoid delays and the possibility of incurring extra costs.
About Moving to France
One of the reasons why so many people from the UK choose to move to France is to have a fantastic change of lifestyle. It is wonderful to be able slow down your pace of life, eat delicious food and wine at one of the great restaurants, enjoy the weather and beautiful scenery and take a day off and relax in the countryside or on the beach. In order to make this life change run as smoothly as possible, start by taking some lessons to learn the language if you don't already speak it. It makes things so much easier if you need to go shopping, arrange a plumber, or get something else fixed around the home. You will also need to acknowledge that some things are done differently in France, for example all the shops close during the two hour lunch-break.
Moving to France : Weather
Another reason why people move to France from the UK is to enjoy the improved weather. The south of France enjoys much better weather, such as Languedoc, which is the area of France with the most sunshine - more than 300 days of sunshine. However, be aware that in other parts of France, such as the north, the weather is not too different from parts of southern England.
Moving to France : House Hunting
Take your time to decide where you want to live and don't rush into buying the first property you see. If you opt for a French estate agency, it is advisable to make sure they are a member of a recognised trade body such as the SNPI or FNAIM.
It can take up to five months to complete on buying a property in France and as the system is different to the UK, it is better to hire an English-speaking solicitor. You can check with The Law Society for a list of firms in the UK who are linked to ones in France, or British firms with French-speaking solicitors.
Once you have had your offer accepted on a property, you will need to sign a compromis de vente. This is prepared by a notaire, a government official who administers the sale and purchase of a property. Once both parties sign this contract, the buyer pays a deposit, which is ten per cent of the property's purchase price. At this stage the property is taken off the market.
There are certain conditions that need to be met within the compromis, otherwise the sale will not go ahead and the contract will be void. This relates to the buyers ability to get a mortgage (clauses suspensive) and you can also add other clauses to the contract, such as whether or not you can get planning permission to renovate the property.
After this initial contract there is a seven day cooling off period, which is compulsory in French law. A quarter of the buyers walk away at this point. If you still want to go carry on with the purchase, finance can be organised, necessary checks can be made and searches can go ahead.
The final contract, the acte de vente, is signed in front of the notaire and the buyer pays the various taxes and fees associated with their property purchase. It is worth taking another look at the property just before you sign as there are some contacts which include a "sold as seen".
Whenever contacts are signed you will need to show your passport, marriage or divorce papers.
Moving to France : Costs
In order to manage the fees and various payments you have to make while your purchase is being carried out, it is advisable to open a French bank account.
Expect to pay up to 12 per cent of the value of your property in fees and taxes.
Transfer taxes range from 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent. They can be less for new-build properties. The buyer pays in the region of one to five per cent of the property's value in notary fees.
Stamp duty amounts to about 0.6 per cent. VAT on properties built in the last five years is about 19 per cent. Other costs to factor in during the house buying process are estate agency fees and land registry fees.
Moving to France : Mortgages
If you have a mortgage on your French home, there are two things you can do: re-mortgage the property you already have in the UK (if you don't intend to sell it), or take out a new mortgage on the French property you intend to buy. You can get a mortgage either in euros or sterling.
As the rates provided by banks for money transfer services can be fairly high, it is advisable to use a specialist foreign exchange provider to transfer large amounts between bank accounts in the UK and France.
Moving to France : Tax
If you live abroad, but are still earning money from activities in the UK (for example obtaining rental income from property) may still be liable to income tax on those earnings. It is advisable to contact HM Revenue & Customs to check your tax liabilities.
Moving to France : Healthcare
The healthcare system in France is very good. However, look carefully into the French regulations for EU members, as they have recently changed. Those who are not working need to take out private medical insurance for the first five years. The criteria varies however, especially if you are retired. For information on healthcare rights and benefits take a look at the Department for Work and Pensions website.
Moving to France : Education
The French have an excellent educational system. If you are choosing to educate your son or daughter in France, there are four options: State schools (Ecole Publique), attended by most children in France; Private Schools (Ecole Privee), mainly owned by the Catholic Church although there are other faith schools; International Schools, which found in major cities and are mainly privately-run, and home schooling.
Home schooled children are required to achieve the same educational levels as those in mainstream schools (including in French language). If your child is seen as failing, they will have to attend school. Les Enfants d'Abord is the Home Schooling Association provides information and support for French and English-speaking parents.
Moving to France : Pension
If you intend to move to France before or during your retirement your state pension is not affected as long as you notify the pension service of your new details. Contact the International Pension Centre on +44 (0)191 2187777.
If you move with your existing job to France, you can stay in your company pension scheme for up to five years. It has been suggested by some experts that you keep on paying your national insurance contributions so there are no large gaps in your payment history, which could affect your pension entitlement.International Removals to France - contact us now to discuss your move, or click here for a Moving House to France Quote