Quick, Safe and Cost Effective
√ Save Money with Leading European Removals Company
√ Move Safely using fully Insured and Accredited Movers
√ No Waiting – Complete Your Move in 2-5 days
√ Move Safely using fully Insured and Accredited Movers
√ No Waiting – Complete Your Move in 2-5 days
Moving to France with Lopa Removals will allow you to complete your move within 2-5 days. We have our removal vehicles crossing between UK and France every day.
Professional Service – Quick Turnaround and Fantastic rates – starting from only £180. With Lopa
GPS Tracked fleet, trained crew, top quality packing material, Insurance cover. Designed to make it the most efficient and safe moving service between UK and France.
Moving to France or across Europe can be quite expensive and difficult to organise, especially if you have more than just a few boxes. What you have to consider are two options:
This is where Lopa Removals will provide a vehicle and crew solely for your you – there will be no sharing or co-loading. This option works best with 1,2,3, and 4 bedroom properties. It is slightly more expensive than a shared part load service (as you are the only client), but we can work with your dates and requirements. The average time between collection and delivery: 2-5 days (depending on actual locations).
If you are looking for the most cost-effective and at the same time safe and professional way of moving to France – this is exactly that. Lopa Removals will collect and deliver your goods using shared vehicle where your goods travel along others. This way you not only sharing the space but also the cost of the move – Ideal solution and very eco-friendly.
Spend some quality time sourcing for a removal company that suits your budget, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure that the volume of your move is correctly established (this will have a direct impact on the cost of your move). Agree on the dates select the moving option that suits you the best.
Like hundreds of thousands of other people who move abroad from UK to France every year, you’ve made the decision to swap the rainy cities and towns of the UK for the sunnier climes enjoyed by our neighbours across the Channel. Congratulations!
No matter whether you’re moving to the rural, countryside regions like Limousine or Burgundy or the bustling metropolises of large cities like Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux, you’ve made the right decision. You’ve got a lifetime of delicious cheeses, gorgeous wine and holidays to the Riviera to look forward to, not to mention a much warmer climate and a more relaxed pace of life.
But leaving Britain behind for a new life in France isn’t always a smooth process. You now have several practical and logistical problems to solve, ranging from how you’ll sort out your money to where you’ll live and how you’ll get through the piles of forms waiting to be filled out.
And with Brexit looming on the horizon, you’ll also need to think long-term about citizenship issues and the consequences of moving across the English Channel.
Luckily, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll share with you our checklist for those moving to France from UK. We’ll help you think about issues ranging from how to sort out paperwork like your finances to more practical points which will affect your day-to-day life.
Many people move from Britain to France every single year without a hitch or a problem, so there’s no need to worry. Instead, simply allow our expert top tips to be your guide as you navigate the waters of an international move and start your new life abroad.
You can’t subsist properly in France unless you get your affairs in order and make sure your financial status is all correct, so it’s vital to do this as soon as possible.
To open a French bank account when moving to France you don’t necessarily have to be in the country, so it might be possible to do this before you even arrive, but not all banks permit non-French people to open accounts remotely.
If you bank in Britain with international brands like HSBC or smaller French banks like
Many of the British stereotypes about French culture aren’t true, but it’s certainly the case that there’s often a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy involved when it comes to carrying out relatively simple tasks here. You’ll need to provide your new French bank with a number of documents such as proof of your new French address and an identification document like a passport.
Handwritten documents are usually not accepted and references may also be needed, so you should allow yourself plenty of time to complete this task.
Your health is in many ways your most important asset, and you won’t be able to enjoy your new life in France to the full if you don’t look after yourself and get the care you need if you fall ill. The French healthcare system differs from the British one in a variety of important ways, so it’s important to do your research and be prepared before moving.
While there is a healthcare system in place in France, it is insurance-based and it’s against the law to not have the relevant health insurance.
The French government pays for most of your insurance fees, so in practice will largely be free at the point of use. The state health insurance system, known as sécurité
Only 80% of hospital costs are covered by the government’s insurance system, so to cover the shortfall you’ll need to pay extra into your insurance – known as the supplementary cost – unless you’re a member of a “
A few groups of people don’t qualify for the sécurité
Because of the nature and structure of the system, it’s vital that you sort all of this out as soon as you can when moving to France. If you find yourself with a serious health condition but without healthcare coverage, it could quickly turn into a financial and legal headache for you.
Learning the language is important. If you don’t already speak French, it’s definitely advisable to get some lessons as soon as possible before you move –
Speaking the language will make it much easier to communicate and co-operate with those around you, and will also assist you as you go through the many registration processes you will face after your move.
This is especially important if you are making the big move on your own. Over time, a lack of human contact can have a serious impact on your mental health and wellbeing – and it’s important to be as upbeat as possible to make the most out of your big move to France.
To learn French you can take lessons while you’re still in
Finally, once you’re good enough you can keep up-to-date with French culture and current affairs by taking a look
Although many people in France also speak English fluently, being able to speak French will help you go a long way – especially in some of the more rural areas or when communicating with the older generation. You’ll find you are able to learn a lot more about an area, become independent far quicker, find work much easier, and will strike up far more meaningful relationships if you are able to speak French. Once you are living there and communicating regularly, you’ll be able to hone your skills and become fluent much quicker. More information: www.diplomatie.gou
If you’re moving to France for a long period or perhaps even indefinitely, then you’ll want to invest in an international removals firm capable of transporting whatever items you need to move.
Before moving everything over to France, it’s wise to wait and see what sort of home you’re moving into before you decide. For example, if you live in an old place back in Britain and are moving into a modern flat in France, you’ll want to kit out your new home with lots of new furniture to match the new decor. In that case, it may well be better to buy your new items once you’re in France.
If it makes sense for you to take most of what you already own with you, choose a company wisely. Firms with good reviews and safety features like insurance cover and GPS-tracked vans are a good bet, as are companies which have strong customer service processes.
You will obviously need to pay a reasonable amount for a decent service, but it’s also vital not to get ripped off. The best companies will be able to offer you a fast turnaround time and not keep you waiting.
When living in France, you will be required to fill in an annual tax return. Once you arrive in France you’ll be designated as a tax resident from day one if you plan to stay for over 182 days, so you need to make sure you’re signed up to pay. To do this, you need to go down to the town hall or the local tax office.
France doesn’t yet operate a pay-as-you-earn system like the one in Britain which allows employers to deduct taxes before wages are paid, so until this kicks in in 2018, you’ll need to make sure you fill out the annual return.
Residents need to declare the income of everyone in your household, although there are particular rules concerning children over 18 years of age and unmarried couples.
If you’re a particularly fussy eater with a penchant for British brands, be warned that not all of these items will be available in France. You will need to keep your eyes open for new tastes and be adventurous in what you pick up. It’s not all snails and frogs’ legs – but if you’re not sure, ask whoever is selling it for more information. They may also offer you the opportunity to take a bite and try before you buy. Find out more: wikipedia.org
Regardless of what your intentions are when moving to France – either to work or retire – you’ll need to register with the French authorities once you have moved there within three months of arriving. This will also be part of your visa process. On occasion this can be a lengthy process, so if possible get started on this as early as you can. You may be required to have an interview and/or medical tests taken. Find out more: etsc.eu
YOU SHOULDN’T NEED ANY SORT OF PERMIT OR VISA IN ORDER TO WORK AND LIVE IN THE COUNTRY DUE TO THE LAWS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU). HOWEVER, FOLLOWING THE UK’S VOTE TO LEAVE THE EU THIS STATUS IS IN DOUBT IN THE LONG RUN, AND THE NEW RULES HAVE NOT YET BEEN DECIDED.
It’s certainly advisable to keep abreast of all developments when it comes to the impact Brexit could have on your ability to live and work in EU countries, especially if the timeframe of your move to France is likely to be in the next two or three years – as this will be during the negotiation process.
Even if you’re from the EU, you can still register with the authorities in France if you wish. A residence permit is free and lasts for five years.
When looking to move to France, it is important that you do your research. From places to go to what visa you will need, how the local area operates to what jobs are available, the more you can find out ahead of time, the better equipped you will be. Try to leave any existing prejudices you may have to one side, otherwise, these could become self-fulfilling prophecies. Keep your eyes open to the many new opportunities that will be presenting themselves to you. A good place to start would be the expatica.com forum.
Once you have found your new French home, have sorted contracts and collected keys, there are some other key processes to sort out. This is your Moving to France checklist:
TV and radio – Firstly, you must make sure you budget for a TV license – known as a
Utilities – You also need to look into utility provision. Usually, electricity is provided to French properties by EDF while gas comes from the similarly-named GDF. You may find that you’re able to take advantage of the market by shopping around, so do make sure you look on price comparison sites like Kelkoo.fr to check if you’re getting the most for your Euros – especially if you’re on a budget.
Communications – When it comes to communications, many places already have the infrastructure in place. If not, you may need to contact France Telecom – which looks after phone and Internet connections – in order to set up a new connection if there is not one already there. Again, it may be worth using price comparison sites to discover packages and deals which suit your needs. Your mobile phone must be able to connect to a GSM network – the standard across Europe.
Post – You should also clearly mark your name on your property’s mailbox to ensure that your post does not get lost, which is especially important if you’re waiting for important registration documents. If you rent a flat and are in doubt about which mailbox in the communal area is yours, speak to your landlord.
Bin collections – Ask your landlord or neighbours what day the rubbish is collected in your building or area – and don’t forget to check what you can and can’t put in the bin. In cities, communal recycling bins are often located on streets in residential areas.
Driving – When it comes to driving, any EU or EEA issued
Cycling – If you’re living in a city, biking may be a better option. Several French cities operate affordable systems similar to London’s cycle hire scheme, whereby you collect and return your hired bike to hubs located around the city.
Public transport – France has an excellent train network with high-speed services connecting cities across the country, and many local cities and regions offer efficient metro and bus systems. The most famous Metro, of course, is Paris – but because public transport is popular in France, all major cities have integrated transport systems of one kind or another.
Ensuring you have somewhere to live once you arrive in France is arguably the most important decision you’ll need to make – as you certainly don’t want to end up living out of a suitcase in a hotel room for months when you first get there!
Firstly, decide whether you’re planning to buy or rent. If you choose to buy, approach a bank for a mortgage. These are readily available – even if you’re from abroad, banks in France are happy to lend between 70% and 80% of the property’s value.
Be sure to have your financial affairs in order, with well-kept records in place. The bank will add up all of your expenses before offering you a loan, and the total of all your liabilities must never go over 30% of your net household income.
Before buying, consider renting when you first arrive – as if your move goes wrong or you decide you’d prefer to live in a different part of the country, you’re less tied down. If like 40% of French people you plan to rent in the long run, you have lots of rights: landlords cannot enter the property while you live there except to carry out maintenance, and notice periods are particularly long.
You’ll also need to decide where to go when moving to France. Paris is an unusual case, and if you’re moving there, be aware that high demand means prices and rents are also high, but the quality does not always match.
If you’re bringing up a family in Paris, definitely consider taking up residence at least in suburbs like Saint Cloud or St Germain-de-Laye. Parisian flats are generally very small compared to apartments in other major global cities, and many are ideal only for one or two people.
Outside of Paris, you will find that there are lots of places in France which offer peaceful conditions, large living areas and lots of green space.
The first place to look when kicking off the search for your new home is the internet. Many resources are available online, including LeBonCoin which is similar to Craigslist. SeLoger and Particulier a Particulier are aggregators of both the purchase and rental properties offered by agencies.
Of course, it’s important to exercise your common sense when searching on the internet. Don’t give out any bank details or send money online, and if a listing on one of these sites looks too good to be true
French landlords have the legal right to force you to take out insurance for a variety of dangers and hazards, ranging from fire to water damage. If you don’t, your landlord can either evict you or pay for it then bill the cost to you – so don’t risk it!
In France, as in any European country, it’s possible to call 112 to reach all of the emergency services if you’re unsure which one you need. But if you need a specific service, it’s worth knowing what numbers to call.
For paramedics – known as SAMU, or the Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence or SAMU – the number is 15. The
Medical help/SAMU: 15
Police/Police Nationale (Gendarmerie): 17
Fire & accident/Sapeurs Pompiers: 18
SOS – all services (recommended when calling from a mobile): 112
SOS – all services (hearing assisted): 114
Emergency Shelter: 115
Missing Child: 116 000
Out-of-hours doctors (as of January 2017): 116 117
Emergency: Sea & Lake (calling from land): 112 or 196
Emergency at Sea (calling from
Emergency Tel: 112
Terror/Kidnapping Hotline Tel: 197
Once you move into your new home, you might suddenly find yourself suffering from culture shock.
This unpleasant and disorientating experience often happens when people suddenly get uprooted from one place and immersed in another. Acclimatising to new dominant social norms and ways of doing things can be difficult, and this can lead to feelings of confusion and even physical symptoms like
It’s normal to feel this way, even in a place like France where it’s relatively easy to make trips back to see family, friends and all that is familiar. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve made the wrong decision, or that you’re homesick or unhappy. It’s more common than you think.
To lessen the impact of culture shock, it’s important to be prepared. Spend some time meeting and talking to French people with an open mind: if you’re quick to judge the French way of life as unusual or out of the ordinary, it will take longer for you to get used to it.
Bread – known in French as pain – is one of France’s favourite foodstuffs. You can pick up bread almost any time of day from a local boulangerie (bakery), and it’s wise to try out a few different
Markets are very popular in France, and almost all major towns will have one at least once a week. This is an ideal opportunity to try out French cuisine and to enjoy some of the finest foods made by French butchers, bakers, confectioners and more. It’s not just food, either: household wares, clothes, and much more are all available.
Hit up cafes and restaurants
In France, many shops and offices will close at lunchtime – often for quite long periods like a couple of hours. Lunch is probably the most important meal of the French day, and it’s often accompanied by a glass of wine or a coffee.
While it might take some adjusting first, just embrace it! Eating a relaxed meal in