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Here at Compare My Move, we are ready to help you with your home move to France. France is a popular relocation spot for Brits.
The French culture, the food and the laid-back way of life have proven appealing and even irresistible to British Expats over the years and Compare My Move help over 2000 people move abroad each year. We will help you to compare up to 6 local/international removal companies that specialise in moving from the UK to France.
If you’re looking for international movers to transport your belongings to France then you’ve come to the right place. Compare My Move can match you with up to 6 international moving companies in your area when you fill out our quick form.
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Vive La France!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
File all important documents together so you know exactly where they are to avoid unnecessary delays during your move.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When moving pets to France, you will need to prove they are healthy and are being imported for genuine reasons.
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.
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 'aggressive' dog breeds cannot enter France, make sure you research the dog breed before you leave.
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.
Horses also need passports, though you will only need a certificate that proves other animals are in good health.
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.
If you are an EU national, you won’t normally need a residence permit to remain in France.
However, if you are not and your visa or temporary residence permit is due to expire, you will need to apply for a renewable residence permit within two months of its expiry date. Renewable permits normally allow you to stay in France for a year, though there are certain exceptions.
There are many different types of residence permits, with regulations regularly changing. A temporary residence permit enables you to reside in the country as a visitor, student, trader, self-employed person, university tutor, researcher or employee. You may also be able to obtain a temporary permit for family-related reasons.
A permanent French residence permit allows you to stay in the country on a permanent basis. These permits are valid for a maximum of ten years and are renewable. If you are an EU citizen and have been in France for five years, you will have a right to permanent residence without providing proof of income or employment.
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.
Though you won’t need a France visa to work, live or study in France as an EU national, if you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, you may need a short or long-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.
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.
At the time of writing, the UK remains part of the EU until early 2019 which means UK citizens do not currently need a visa to work in France.
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.
If you are an EU national, you shouldn’t face too many hurdles when opening a bank account in France.
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.
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.
You should take proof of your identity, address and residence status when getting a French bank account.
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.
Don’t forget to tell HMRC that you are exiting the UK and inform your utilities providers of your moving date.
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.
You can avoid financial problems by utilising the services of a broker that will help you swap your UK sterling for Euros for less.
At Compare My Move, we are partnered with Currencies Direct, a highly-reputable service offering currency exchange in France that specialises in beating what the high street banks have to offer and can offer free transfers and beat the exchange rates of various big lenders. The company can even forward your Euros to your new French account the day it is opened.