How do they know?

Good evening
This may seem a strange question but the house we brought and moving into doesn’t have a name or number (we are rural) . How do we get around this hows it work please

Check your copy of the compromis de vente, it will have the address as it is known as. France is slowly "modernising " rural postal addresses

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Yes one day you could come home with a number on the wall.

Firstly, make sure you have your name clearly marked on your mailbox.
Secondly, make a visit to your ‘Mairie’ and inform the secretary that you are moving in so that they know where you are should the postal delivery person enquire.
Thirdly, try and make the acquaintance of your local ‘La Poste’ mail delivery person.

You can always check that the system is working by sending yourself a letter.
Don’t worry too much as you won’t have been in residence a week before all the locals know exactly where ‘Les Anglais’ live, what car you drive, the number of people in your household, and what type of bread you buy. :slight_smile:
Welcome To rural France.


Adresses are over rated. Shortly after moving in, I received a letter addressed using just my surname and commune…

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I have been found by La Poste simply by my surname (admittedly not a common one) and postcode alone. Not even by the commune. As is normal in rural France our postcode does not include the large village only 4 kms away, but does extend to the Charente border, no less than 30 kms distant. :laughing:

I’ve just had an amazon seller in the UK send me some books. The address they used is just my first name, the village name and the department. This, despite the order having my full name and address. Lets see what happens !

We have only recently acquired a number on our house. The commune decided to number all the rural properties and we recieved a smart green number plate to put near the entrance. Even prior to that we had no problem with mail going astray - as stated above, everyone knows where les Anglais live and in any case we always made sure we chatted fully with the post lady when she came round with the calendars - likewise the sapeur-pompiers.

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So very true! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Thanks for the feedback :grinning::blush:

Post always has found us. It’s the courier companies that are a problem if it turns out a seller has used them.

The 3 problems with DHL, Fedex and the like here have been :

(1) they use subcontractors whose main delivery roster is somewhere else. So they don’t know the area and realistically they have only very few slots in the week when they can divert from their normal rounds to your place.

(2) they all rely on GPS and your address is unlikely to to be on their GPS. Cue day after day ( on their convenient days) of auto messages "your parcel is on the van’ and it not turning up.

Updating major courier company’s link to select another day, including after the ‘failed delivery’ (that they didn’t even try) will reach their subcontractor too late if at all. Nor will any extra remarks you left like put it in the garage if no one there.

(3) Many couriers seem to find even the slightest difficulty too much. They will often choose to mark a delivery failed when they didn’t even come near the place. And this day after day.

Then they drop at their chosen dépôt when they didn’t even try to deliver. As they assume you are in a position to collect what you paid to be delivered. The local Post Office tried this with parcels but has had it explained that delivery is necessary but very flexible can fit in with days they may not be coming for another reason (we don’t get delivery on all the legally required days here) and are absolutely fine now.

For couriers, my solution is I put the GPS number coordinates in the address and mobile phone number too both in the address . Not in the remarks as often those don’t get transmitted to the driver. Works a treat and DPD and Amazon Prime especially work perfectly they just turn up. The others phone and receive easy directions.


Funny that, we live in Perigord Vert and all our number plates are Burgundy.

That’s interesting - the ones in towns here are blue and in the countryside are green!

For the first seven years we were at our current address, name and village were sufficient. Then we received a letter from La Poste notifying us that we now lived at number seventy, avenue des Gabariers. Nevertheless the previous system had probably worked OK for seven or eight centuries as there-s only one C20th house in the village. However La Poste, or whoever was responsible had tried to create a historically resonant name as the gabariers were the traditional boatmen of the Lot (though they never used our roadas it didn’t exist until the C20th and be the village was mainly accessed by boat.

And as for our number? A complete mystery until only a couple of months ago, as we are seventy and next door is sixty, but now know the door number’s determined by our distance from the border of the commune! Now that seems mediaeval and hasn’t been communicated to most couriers. Whenever a delivery is due we get a phone call asking for directions - >>Une centaine de mètres après l’église en direction de Bouillac<< has become our stock response.

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Be grateful you don’t live in Japan. Houses are numbered according to the order in which they were built…


Oh le bordel!! :scream::woman_facepalming:t2:

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I had the same problem but after telling the local post lady newer had problems after that with normal post still have problems with different delivery companies like Dhl and similar companies funny enough last month everyone in my area got new adress with numbers so now I have to call everyone like EDF to tell them I have a new adress France is most modern countries where it’s done automatically

Some of it was done automatically here, some not, I go with the flow and don’t argue. Even the tax form knew we had a new road name and number but demanded to know whether we had moved house before or after January the 1st.

I tried my best to get round it but in the end just told them I moved on that day. No further problem.

As to numbering, it is supposed to be the number of metres from the nearest junction, but between what, the boundary or the post box? Our number is 75 and our boundary adjoins our neighbour at 71. Their post box is 50 metres from ours and they are 75 metres from the junction. :astonished: Although their boundary is on the junction.
So they should be 75 and we should be err 125, or 77. :laughing:

But in a commune (not the village) of 500 souls there are houses with numbers in the 2 thousands, alongside houses in the 1 thousands. :confused:

In NZ rural it seems to be the number of metres along the road.

No, you could come home with a number you have to put on the wall.

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