Moving to France from the UK: A Complete Guide
If you are thinking of moving to France from the UK, then bienvenue; you are in the right place! Whether you are on a quest to find the top international removal companies, or simply want some insider tips, read on for everything you need to know to get you to L’Hexagone in one piece.
The Cost of Moving to France from the UK
Let’s talk money. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but moving house, let alone to another country does not come cheap. However, it is important to note that the cost of moving to France from the UK is hugely dependent on the exact nature of your move, most notably the volume of your things and the distance travelled.
Tip! Use our handy volume calculator to work out how much furniture you have to save precious time when completing your move to France.
To give you a rough idea of how much to budget, the table below indicates the cost of moving from London to Paris by road for various sized properties.
|1-bedroom apartment||8 – 10 days||£900 – £1,300|
|2-bedroom house||1 – 3 days||£1,100 – £1,600|
|3-bedroom house||1 – 3 days||£1,400 – £2,000|
|4-bedroom house||1 – 3 days||£1,800 – £2,600|
|5-bedroom house||1 – 3 days||£2,300 – £3,200|
Disclaimer. The above costs only reflect average removal costs to France. The only way to get accurate figures is to request removal quotes from us, which reflect the specific characteristics of your move.
If you are still curious to understand exactly where these figures come from, our international removal costs page provides all the answers.
Moving to France Checklist
Whether you are moving to the hustle and bustle of Paris, or the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux, follow this step-by-step checkist, et voilà: moving to France has never been easier.
Before you go:
- Important documents. Gather all your vital paperwork and store it in a safe accessible place.
- Choose an international removal company. Trusting someone else with all your possessions is stressful. So, make sure you find the removal company that best suits you when moving to France from the UK.
- Pack. You can never start too early! Our expert packing guide has got you covered on this front.
- Taking a car? Some good news! You are able to freely import your new or used vehicle to France as long as VAT has already been paid in another EU country. Either drive your car yourself when moving to France, or pop it in a container to be shipped.
- And what about pets? As long as your pet has been micro-chipped, has a pet passport or third-country veterinary certificate and has been vaccinated against rabies, it can join your French adventure!
- Tax. Love paying tax? We thought not…unless you want to run the risk of being taxed twice, make sure you inform HMRC of your move to France and organise which country you intend to pay tax in.
Once you have moved to France:
- Apply for a Carte de Séjour. Within three months of moving to France from the UK, you must register at you local town hall. It is free of charge to do so.
- Banking. We recommend setting up a local bank account. Explore some of the following banks’ websites to find a good fit for you:
- Crédit Agricole
- BNP Paribas
- Société Générale
- Caisse d’Epargne
- Banque Populaire
- Transfer money. Once you have your shiny new bank account, stock up on euros by sending yourself any money you have.
- Driving licence. You can use your British driving licence in France for one year. However, after that, you may be required to swap it over.
Last but by no means least, if you don’t speak French already then get practicing!
If you still have some questions unanswered, our more detailed general moving abroad checklist is sure to have the answers.
Moving to France from the UK after Brexit
Time to get to the nitty-gritty details of moving to France from the UK. While we wish we could predict the future (wouldn’t that be cool!) unfortunately, there is still not complete clarity on the ins and outs of moving to France from the UK after Brexit.
Indeed, this uncertainty is not exclusive to France, but characterises all moves to the EU and EEA. However, to counter these concerns, we have an entire article dedicated to this topic, so make sure you check it out if you are completing a move to France from the UK after Brexit.
Living in France as an Expat
There is more to France than wine, cheese and croissants. Although we wouldn’t complain if there wasn’t! In fact, France produces 1,200 different varieties of cheese! Anyway, we digress… Read on for everything you need to know about what your life might look like once you have completed your move to France from the UK.
The cost of living in France
Right, before we move onto the fun stuff, time to talk a little more about money. Unsurprisingly, in a country known for its sophistication and elegance, living in France does not come cheap. You can expect day-to-day life to be about 15% more expensive than in the UK, however your rent will be approximately 10% lower.
Before you put your head in your hands and wave goodbye to your dreams of moving to France, take a look at the following table which compares common cost of living metrics between the UK and France. Remember, when there is a will, there is a way!
|Metric||UK Average||French Average|
|Monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre||£750||£613|
|Price per square metre to buy in the city centre||£4,187||£6,183|
|0.5L of draught beer||£3.60||£5.40|
|1L of gasoline||£1.26||£1.33|
Did you know? In France, it is illegal to throw away any food which is still edible. Not only is this a great way to do your bit for the environment, but it also makes you more thrifty 😉 which necessary given France’s high living costs!
Finding accommodation in France
We are sure that getting a roof over your head is something of a priority for most of you. Much like any country, your property expenses, both for renting and for buying, will vary hugely depending on where in France you choose to settle.
If you are moving to France from the UK on a budget, try to avoid the Rhone, Ardennes and Paris areas, and opt for areas such as Montpellier, Marseille and Lille instead. With 41 UNESCO World Heritage sites across the country, you are sure to find something to discover wherever you are!
For better insight into various areas in France, visit the following pages:
If you know where you plan on heading but are still on the hunt for your French residence, explore some of the following websites:
Working life in France
Fancy rocking up to the office at 10am, working for a couple of hours and then sipping the finest Châteauneuf-du-Pape over lunchtime? Who wouldn’t! While this might be a slight exaggeration on the stereotype, the French are known for their leisurely lunchbreaks, although this is often made up for with employees working later into the evening.
If you still are not convinced, then budge up because we will take your place and move to France instead. But you will be sorry to learn that the average amount of sleep is 8.83 hours a night; sounds like our kind of place!
If you want a piece of this lifestyle but are yet to find employment upon moving to France, then consider some of the following online portals:
- ABG L’intelli’agence
- Emploi Annonces
- IAPA (International Au Pair Organisation)
- Indeed France
- Les Jeudis
- L’Hôtellerie Restauration
- Stratégies Emploi
By now you are well on your way to moving to France from the UK and becoming an authentic Frenchie! However, to really fit in, you are going to have to train yourself to like snails: the average French citizen eats over 500 escargot every year!
If that hasn’t scared you off, and a move to France from the UK is still on the cards, consider exploring the Sirelo website further to answer all of your moving queries. In particular, you may find the following pages useful:
In the meantime, bonne chance! We wish you every success with your move 😊