Moving to France
Are you looking to move to France but are not sure where to start? With jobs to organise and living costs to account for, there is more than enough to start thinking about. One thing you most certainly will need to consider at some point however is how you are going to move all your belongings.
White & Company have been providing a European removals, packing and storage service for over 145 years and are members of industry regulators, BAR, FIDI and OMNI. With 16 branches across the UK and a network of industry partners overseas, our extensive relocation network allows us to provide bespoke removal solutions no matter where you’re moving to.
Whether it be from London to Lyon, or Portsmouth to Paris, let us take the stress out of your move and get you on your way to starting a wonderful new life over the Channel.
Why Move to France?
France is often seen as an oasis of sun-drenched beaches, bustling bistros and artisan cafes. Culture, climate and an enviable array of à la carte food options are just some of the main reasons spouted in favour of a move to l’Hexagone. With the rise in budget flights and affordable rail and road links in the form of the Eurostar and the Eurotunnel, France feels like its literally on the UK’s doorstop.
Over 15% of the total population living in France is said to be over the age of 65, which goes some way towards explaining the nation’s reputation as a hotbed for expats retiring to the rural countryside. There is however enormous diversity in the French landscape and with that the range of activities on offer too. From jet-skiing in Bordeaux to skiing up in the snow-capped Alps, there is something to appeal to all age groups and interests.
Moving to France is not all sunbathing and wine tasting on the Riviera however. The country has a very strong culture and many expats report struggling when they first arrive. Language is reported as being the most difficult barrier, both in terms of seeking out long term working opportunities and in integrating successfully into the local community.
Having said that, those who relocate to France and are able to navigate those issues can expect to enjoy a slower, more relaxed pace of life, excellent options for schooling and easy transport access to many of France’s main destinations and close European neighbours.
Transporting My Effects To France
Once you have made the decision to move, some of the questions you have may include:
- Which area of France would suit me best?
- Do I want to live in the city on the coast or in the countryside?
- How much will the property cost?
With France being a short flight away from the UK, you can easily contact some of the local estate agents in your areas of interest. They will be happy to provide assistance, arrange viewings and help you with your questions and concerns regarding the legal aspects of buying property abroad. The following websites may be of interest:
Our branches stretch from the Channel Islands to Scotland and with a network of industry partners we are able to provide an exceptional packing, removal, storage and delivery service anywhere in the country. At each branch our team will have a wealth of local knowledge and can liaise with our other branches to make sure your move runs smoothly.
Contacting White & Company
For further information on our removals to France, to start your new job, or any other international destination, contact our international office on 01489 854603. Alternatively complete the form below with your details and we will contact you.
White & Company Removal Services
Moving can be a very stressful experience but White & Company, with its 145 years of experience in the removal industry, can help make the whole process run a lot more smoothly.
We can arrange a free no obligation quotation, which is carried out by one of our qualified surveyors, who will be able to answer any of the questions and concerns you may have. The surveyor will undertake a thorough survey to determine the volume of effects you wish to move, following which you will receive a written quotation.
We use a modern range of environmentally friendly, purpose-made packing materials and can pack everything for you prior to your move. As part of our service:
All china and glassware will be wrapped in special paper and then packed in double-thickness cartons. Furniture can be wrapped in bubble blanket for extra protection, and Items requiring specialist care, such as antiques, can be packed in made-to-measure wooden crates.
We can also offer an unpacking service to unpack your belongings onto flat surfaces and dispose of all packing materials.
You may find you need to store some or all of your possessions prior to moving home, or whilst you arrange for work to be carried out on your new home. We have 19 storage locations throughout the UK all providing secure containerised storage in personal dedicated storage containers. All our warehouses are clean, dry, secure and accredited to European standard BS EN 14873.
When planning your move we understand the cost of your removals or storage is likely to be one of the most important factors. To get an idea of costings, either fill in the White & Company extensive online estimates form for a quote or contact your local White & Company branch to arrange a free no obligation home visit.
Working In France
British citizens also do not currently need a visa to move to France. However, anyone looking to move permanently is advised to carry a passport, driving licence or other form of visual identification to prove their identity if requested.
Expats are often attracted to the work-life balance on offer. With a 35-hour working week, plenty of holiday allowance and early retirement packages. The cost of living in France is however relatively high. Especially in the larger cities, such as Paris, where wages are not necessarily as competitive as those on offer to expats heading to the Middle East or Asia.
Despite having one of the biggest economies in the European Union, France currently has a high level of unemployment. Most expats look to secure jobs before moving in one of France’s highly regarded industries, such as aircrafts, motor vehicles, and cosmetics, where they can expect lucrative salaries and generous perks. France is home to many successful multinationals of this kind including Airbus, Michelin and L’Oréal.
Having said that, France is currently experiencing a skills shortage in a number of fields including IT, health and engineering, as well as agricultural and manufacturing. As such France is increasingly looking to fill vacancies left by underqualified French workers with foreign workers.
Now is still a good time to buy a property in France, despite an initial ‘Macron bounce’ in housing prices. According to the latest property market report from the Notaires de France’ while property prices are steadily on the rise, interest rates are still low and are once again on a downward trend.
Head southwards and The Alps is perhaps one the most buoyant markets in France right now, with buyers from all manner of nations, including Britain and Russia competing for property in lively markets such as Chamonix.
Luxury chalet properties in the region can go for up to €20m. Chamonix is the fourth most expensive city in France, with property costing as much as €6,500/sqm (5,673) while the national average is €3,197 sqm (£2,970).
For those looking for something more affordable and closer to home, the average property price for example, in Brittany, situated on the North-West coastline, comes in at just under €150,000.
Buying a property in France is generally a straightforward and well-regulated process, although the process differs slightly from the UK. The most notable differences being that it is the buyer who pays the agents fees, not the seller and the commission charged is usually a bit higher, at around 6 – 10%.
The following site contains advice on purchasing a property and has a selection of homes for sale:
In terms of schooling, France is reported to have one of the best education systems in the world and there is a range of very good schools to choose from, depending on the age of your child.
The majority of expats choose to educate their children at an international school. This option eliminates any concerns surrounding the language barrier and children are able to follow the curriculum of the expat’s home country.
Local Information & Healthcare
Once you arrive in France you are legally obliged to have health insurance in place. Most people will qualify to be covered by the state French health insurance (sécurité sociale) and will need to register with Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM).
It is worth noting however that this doesn’t cover all medical costs, so if you want to top up your insurance coverage then you may wish to consider taking out private health insurance.
When moving overseas making sure you get the best exchange rate possible is essential. White & Company has an exclusive arrangement with an FX Firm.
Simply call us on Tel: 01494-857672 or follow the link to see what additional monies you will receive compared to using your high street bank and to set up a free account:
White & Company
Providing European Removals to France since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all European moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.