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  • Writer's pictureSean

The Pros and Cons of Living in France

Updated: Apr 19

If you are thinking of relocating to a new country, you must consider both the good and the bad. That is not to say you won’t love it, but even in the UK, some things drive us mad.


If you are uprooting your whole life, then you want to make sure wherever you are headed matches your dreams and ideas for a better life.  If you need your household belongings transported to France, make sure to contact our team who will be more than happy to assist you.


Now, we are going to look at the pros and cons of living in France for anyone thinking about crossing the channel

1. The Accommodation

One of the first things most people do when moving to a new country is find somewhere to live. France offers modern, bustling city life or quiet rural living as well as some coastal areas, so there is plenty to choose from.


There is a lot of property for sale, and you will find prices seem cheap compared to the UK. They have a lot of homes needing modernisation and refurbishment, and for many Brits, this is the dream.


You can get access to listings before you leave, and it is advisable to go and look before making any decisions, but be aware that in person, you could easily find an estate agent who doesn’t speak English.


While a rural idyll might be the dream, it is important to keep it real, as you don’t want your new home to become your biggest con.


Older homes come with oodles of charm, but they can also cost a fortune, as often the basics, such as light fixtures or electrics, and replacing these can be very costly. You will also have to pay an annual housing tax, the amount of which varies by area.


2. Cost of Living

A pretty negative category in this list is that day-to-day living isn’t favourable. VAT can push prices sky-high, which is super frustrating when the cost of basics like food and clothing is already a lot more than you pay at home.


A con of living in France is that transport is also not particularly cheap. There are a lot of toll roads, many more than you get in the UK, and you will also have to pay to cross certain bridges. The cost varies and can be as high as €30 for a single trip.


 It Is important to acknowledge that the bus, tram, and Metro system is cost-effective. Using these systems is good value and you also have access to many train stations and regional airports. If you are living in the city, you can likely manage without a car, which cuts down on some coasts.


However, rural living is a different ballgame, and you will likely need to own a vehicle. The rural bus service is comprehensive, but you may only find a bus twice a day, which restricts you in terms of time if you are going somewhere.


3. The Lifestyle

One of the most widely praised benefits of life in France is the laid-back, slower pace of life they tend to live. If you are looking to escape the rat race, you will find two-hour lunch breaks the norm, plus lots of coffee breaks.

Big shops close during the lunch hour, and there is very little in the way of Sunday trading. This may seem unusual to start with, but feedback from most expats is that they enjoy this enforced rest.

They also have the highest number of paid holidays in any country. The school term lasts between six and seven weeks, and then children get a week off.


4. The Food and Drink

Another benefit of life in France is the delicious local food and wine. Regardless of whether you are in the country or living in the city, you will find lots of markets offering fresh, locally produced goods.


The boulangerie is the best place to get freshly baked bread, and you will find lots of small butchers, grocery stores, and cheese shops.


Wine is offered at both dinner and lunch and of course, there are plenty of famous wine-producing regions in France.


5. Education

If you are moving to France with a family, he will find that schooling is a little bit more flexible than in the UK. They have a school day that starts between 8:30 and 9:00 am and ends between 4:30 and 5 pm.


This gives working parents more of a chance to juggle the home-life balance. Children should not feel too bad about the longer day as they also get a 90-minute to two-hour lunch break.


For pre-schoolers or holiday care, however, things turn into a bit of a con. Nurseries have very long wait lists as people wait to get in. If you want nursery care, the best advice is to get registered as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.


The equivalent of childminders is a state-licensed caregiver who is allowed to look after four children in their own homes. They do tend to be a lot more expensive than UK childminders. 


The takeaway


No matter how many cons there are, plenty of people have fallen in love with a new lifestyle by moving to France. If you have plans to head across the channel, then give us a call and find out how we can help with the logistics of the move.


Pinnacle Removals & Storage is highly experienced in international removals and would love to give you a hand setting up a new life in France.

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