Compare Removals To France

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Here at Compare My Move, we are ready to help you with your home move to France. The French culture, the food and the laid-back way of life have proven appealing and even irresistible to British Expats over the years.

Compare My Move help over 2,000 people move abroad each year. We can connect you with up to 6 removal companies that specialise in moving from the UK to France to ensure a smooth international move.

You’ll get competitive quotes from our extensive directory of trusted and verified partners. Save time, money and stress on your move today!


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Vive La France!

Covid-19 restrictions and moving to France

The French government’s rules on entering France are as followed.

“As of 4 December 2021 (23:00 GMT 3 December), fully vaccinated travelers (aged 12 years or over) travelling from outside of the European Union to France must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from either a PCR or antigen test. Tests must be taken no more than 48 hours before travel for vaccinated travelers and no more than 24 hours before travel for those who are not fully vaccinated.”

Types of residence permits in France

Brexit means that all British citizens moving to France will need to have a French residence permit (carte de séjour) is staying longer than 90 days.

Temporary Residence

If you’re going to be living in France for more than 3 months, UK residents can apply for a carte de séjour to work, study, living with family etc. You can get a temporary residence permit that typically lasts for a year, but can renew it depending on your situation.

Permanent Residence and Citizenship

If you're a British citizen who has been living in France for 5 years using the 'carte de séjour' are eligible for a 10-year permanent residence permit, known as carte de resident.

You will need to have basic French language skills and ‘proof of integration into French society’ to be eligible.

Alternatively, if you’re married to a French national, you can apply for a permanent residence after just 3 years instead of 5.

Humanitarian Permits

Those who are not legally entitled to stay in France but cannot return home for various reasons such as humanitarian ones may apply for a provisional stay permit before obtaining a temporary work permit.


Types of French Visa

The 1st of January 2021 marked the end of the transition period, meaning that European right will no longer apply within the UK.

Long-stay Visa

As of the 1st of January 2021, Brexit means that UK citizens will need a Long Stay visa (visa de long séjour) if staying in France for more than 90 days, regardless of the purpose of the stay.

Short-stay Visa

A short-stay visa entitles you to work in France for up to 90 days, but you will need a long-term France visa UK and residence to remain in the country for longer than this.

The Schengen Area Countries

France is one of the 26 Schengen area countries, which have a common visa and zero border controls between them. A Schengen visa enables those from outside of the EU/EEA and Switzerland to visit all 26 countries though it does not give them the right to work. The UK is not part of this zone.

Who Can Apply

It is possible for people to make a long-term France visa application if they are employed on a minimum one-year contract, temporary works contracted between three months and a year, the spouse of a French citizen, a student, an intern, a scientific researcher, the spouse of a foreign national legally living in France or a visitor with travel insurance, accommodation and enough money to live on for the duration of their stay.

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Shipping to France – your transport options

At Compare My Move, we can come to your assistance if you do need help with shipping to France. Even if the move seems daunting at the present moment, things can become a whole lot simpler when you have the support of a highly-experienced company behind you to help you with freight shipping to France. Use Compare My Move today and find out how we can assist you

Shipping Container

One of the most common ways of moving belongings to France is to use sea freight. A 20ft container will cost somewhere between £600 - £660, with a 40ft foot container being priced somewhere around the £1,200 mark.

Road Freight Shipping

France’s vast road and rail network makes road freight another popular option, with many people choosing to share consignments with others. You can also opt for a dedicated door-to-door service if you wish.

Air Freight

Although air freight to France can be a costly option with prices being determined by weight, it can also be incredibly convenient if you do have the money to spend as it can means getting quicker access to your goods. However, if you are happy to wait a day or two longer, road freight to France may be the best solution.

Part Load Services

You can save on costs by arranging to share space in the removal vehicle. This option makes road freight noticeably cheaper, though the delivery date will depend on when the vehicle is fully loaded.

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Moving and shipping costs to France

The final cost of moving your belongings over to France will be determined by various factors, with prices starting at around £600 for a small load. One way to cut costs is to sell furniture and other goods before your move and replace them once you have relocated. Factors that will influence the cost of shipping will include insurance, size and weight as well as the shipping method that you are choosing.

At Compare My Move, we are able to save our customers as much as 70% on what they are likely to be charged elsewhere. We are a market-leading service designed to help our customers get the best deal possible without cutting corners on removal standards.

You will also need to factor in moving to France costs such as taxes, custom fees and duties, taxes and insurance when budgeting for the big move.


Prohibitions and restrictions when moving to France

The Prohibited

There are certain items that you won’t be able to take into France under any circumstances. These include pornographic material, ivory, animal skins, live plants, paints, cleaning solvents, polishes, drugs and narcotics, counterfeit goods, explosives and matches.

The Restricted

France customs restrictions are also in place regarding other items. You may need to pay duties on taxes on various goods, such as alcohol, tobacco products, items that you purchased less than six months ago and medications, which will normally be limited to personal use amounts.

What You Need Authorised

Items such as art works and antiques will need certificates of authority, whilst most clothes made from protected animals will require special authorisation. There are also complex requirements and restrictions when it comes to meat and dairy products. Plants may need permits, whilst firearms and ammunition will require French Defence Ministry authorisation.

Do Your Research

If you are unsure on what you are and are not permitted to take into the country, make sure you do your research beforehand. There are many useful resources available online that can give you all the advice you need on France customs regulations so you can avoid unwittingly attempting to import something you are not permitted to take with you.

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Packing tips for your move to France

It’s vital that you don’t underestimate the importance of careful packing when preparing your goods for transportation to France. We always advise our customers to start packing early due to the way that the whole process tends to take much longer than is originally envisaged.

From Top to Bottom

Starting at the top of your house and working your way downwards can be helpful, and the process may be a smoother one if you opt for a large number of small boxes rather than a small amount of large ones. Try to ensure the weight of individual boxes is as light as possible, and ensure each box is clearly labelled so you can easily identify what its contents are and which room it is destined for.

Savvy Boxing

Make sure boxes with fragile items are labelled appropriately and place the heaviest items towards the bottom of each box with lighter goods sat on top of them. Bubble wrap can be the difference between your items surviving the journey and not making it in one piece, whilst blankets and pillows can be similarly effective.

Keep Track of Documents

File all important documents together so you know exactly where they are to avoid unnecessary delays during your move.

Remember the Professionals

Ask for help if you need the assistance of professional packers. We can come to the rescue if you do need help with packing your goods safely and securely, helping you avoid not only damage but unforeseen costs. There are various useful resources on our site with valuable information on moving your belongings to France safely.

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Importing motor vehicles to France

If you are staying in France for more than six months, you will need to register your car. You will not need to pay tax to bring the car from another part of the EU as long as it is only being used for social and domestic purposes.

Vehicle Registration in France

In France, a vehicle’s registration is called its “immatriculation”. You will need a Certificat d'Immatriculation to drive your car legally in France. The car will need to comply with the country’s road standards, and the process of getting it registered can vary in complexity depending on factors like the age and manufacturer of the vehicle. If your car is modified, the process may be more complicated.

Where to Register Your Car

To register the vehicle, you will need to take it to your local 'centre des impots', show your identification and provide the original documents for the car.

The Age of Your Car Matters

Your Car must have a minimum of 6000km on its clock and be at least six months old. If your car is less than six months old, you will need to prove that VAT has been paid elsewhere.

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Shipping your pets to France

When moving pets to France, you will need to prove they are healthy and are being imported for genuine reasons.

The European Pet Passport

You will need a European Pet Passport to bring your pet into the country. This document features vital information on your pet including their vaccination history and an identification passport. The passport will remain valid for the rest of your pet’s life. It will need to be issued by a valid vet.

Vaccinations and Micro-chips

Your pet will need to be micro-chipped and have been vaccinated from various diseases including rabies. They will need to be re-vaccinated if they were vaccinated before the microchip was fitted.
You will need to bring your own scanner with you if the chip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant. Your pet will not need to be vaccinated if they are less than three months old.

Some Dog Breeds Are Prohibited

Some 'aggressive' dog breeds cannot enter France, make sure you research the dog breed before you leave.

Birds Are More Complex

There are complex rules on taking birds into France. Birds will normally need to be quarantined 30 days before or after entering the country, though the rules are different for avian flu vaccinations.

Passports for Other Pets

Horses also need passports, though you will only need a certificate that proves other animals are in good health.

Transport and Insurance

It’s also extremely wise to make sure your pets are insured. Small cats and dogs may be allowed into the cabin in some circumstances if you are flying to France.

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Your Bank Accounts, Utilities, Mail Forwarding and Subscriptions

If you are an EU national, you shouldn’t face too many hurdles when opening a bank account in France.

It Can Be Easier in Person

You may be able to open an account online before you move, but it may be more straightforward to set one up in person once you are able to visit a branch.

What Can Go Wrong?

Language may be a barrier if you don’t speak French, so you may wish to take someone that can with you. Opening hours are typically the same as the UK. If you are refused, the Banque de France may be able to direct you to a bank that will accept you.

What Do You Need To Bring?

You should take proof of your identity, address and residence status when getting a French bank account.

Get Your UK Mail Forwarded

It is possible to arrange mail forwarding to France for a maximum of a year. Royal Mail should be happy to provide this service for a modest fee.

Let HMRC and Your Utilities Providers Know

Don’t forget to tell HMRC that you are exiting the UK and inform your utilities providers of your moving date.

It's Simpler Than it Sounds

You should arrange to have your new utilities set up around 3 or 4 weeks before the date of your move. Your new home should be hooked up to gas, electricity and water suppliers, which means the whole process shouldn’t be any more complex than it would be were you moving elsewhere in the UK.