Moving to France Checklist

At bottom, I agree. I only get stuff sent when there’s a box coming anyway and I can make up to the shipping weight with comestibles, DVDs books etc. The marmalade gets transferred to plastic tubs, saves loads of weight.

Maybe one day I’ll learn how to make it. Meantime I can save money because I know how to do plumbing, tiling, general building …

I don’t understand why one would not bring tools and equipment [pace the lawn mower - never had a lawn]. I’ve got £100’s of tools which have helped me rebuild houses, flats., camper van.

Books can be had for 1p on AMZ UK. I’d rather dump those - and I have, metres of shelves-worth - than not take my tools everywhere.

An hour’s work chasing channels with my mini-breaker to take cabling is ‘earning me’ the cost of Gaston/Pablo/Fritz doing it and paying him. Buys a lot of marmalade!

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As I see it there’s a big difference between bringing the things that you have, be they DIY tools, garden equipment or printer paper and going out and buying them before you move. Sometimes I read this sort of thread and think that some people coming to France must think that they are moving to a third world country.


or more particularly that they fear change and unfamiliarity?


well yes, common sense rules apply - running six X three bar electric fires through some market-place cheap tat six-gang lead is not advised but there’s no issue running a couple of 6w LED desk lamps, 1A phone charger, laptop, printer, back-up hard disk drive through a proper surge protected double fused switchable six-gang lead smothered in CE/TUV/QC stamps.

In general, taken in the round, things are better in France, especially food and drink - BUT of course there are things the Brits do better, and with food there’s also an element of nostalgia, isn’t there? Or is that occasional hankering after the kind of things you ate 50 years ago as a child just me?

Real ale! Something I will miss very much though not so much the pubs. Sadly, our local boozers are all too often full of people shouting making it difficult to hold a conversation.

HUGE numbers of micro breweries showing up and have seen those with real ale.

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Most of my DIY and garden power tools are Makita cordless 18v or 36v. All are far cheaper in the UK than France.
The same applies to A4 printer paper: £14.39 from Staples compared to 25 euros from Amazon France.
I’m unaware of anyone in or near Roumazieres that can supply at a competitive price.

We also buy from Le Clerc at La Rochefoucauld who have a good selection.

Amazon Basics - 10,59€ per ream or 6,80€ if you don’t mind buying 5 reams. Free delivery if you have prime.

Worth checking if Amazon UK will deliver some lines into France - you can get a ream of HP 80g/m2 for £3.47 and the only thing which changed when I selected my French address as the destination was the lead time (from delivery this week to delivery July 21).

As an aside I note we have 1GBP = 1.09€ at the moment - parity soon perhaps?

In the same way I’ve stopped buying clothes made in sweat shops in India I’ve sort of stopped buying cheap goods from the UK (and yes I know they are generally not manufactured there). I now appreciate that France’s tight labour laws are linked to France’s quality of life, which is one of the reasons I live here. So since I’m in the lucky position of having enough money to support myself I don’t begrudge a few extra euros for goods sold here because of the extra controls.

Since I can’t vote, the only power I have right now is consumer power and the UK is not getting my money if I can help it.


It all ends up in Jeff Bezos’ pocket with Amazon anyway.

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Not in our house it doesn’t!!

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I have never paid anything like that for printer paper and I usually buy 100g not 80. I did stop in the Super U near you a couple of weeks ago and I was surprised how much more expensive it seemed than our local one. You obviously live in an up-market place. :slight_smile:

I buy the Xerox stuff from Action, crazy cheap!

Absolutely right Jane. Compared with the UK, France does have a highly regulated economy, which like most regulation has pluses and minuses.

When the financial crisis in Greece was being sorted I remember reading that the deal with its ‘creditors’ forced it ’ to repeal bans on Sunday trading, repeal laws that ensure you can get fresh bread on every street corner, and open up the system of family pharmacies, whose owners give informal credit and advice, to takeover by global corporations’ - and thinking that far from bringing Greece in line with EU countries like France, they were forcing it into the kind if free-market-free-for-all we see in America.

Soon after we moved here, some French pharmacists went on strike - odd, because they were mostly small-business-people, but they were threatened by legal changes that might, among other things, have allowed big corporations – such as giant supermarket chains - to sell over-the-counter medicines. The supermarkets would no doubt sell cheaper, which is supposed to be good for ‘consumers’ – but would also threaten the viability of many village pharmacies. So which would we rather have: deregulation, and a few cents off paracetamol in an out-of-town retail wasteland, or regulation and a real accessible expert in every village - who will as happily advise you on which wild mushrooms you can safely eat as sell you anything?


Good point about banking! We’ll need bank accounts in France!

Hi Jane,

I will be using the micro entrepreneur system and invoicing my UK company for the work I do. That’s the consistent advice I’ve been given. My other income (dividends) will be taxed at a flat 30% as investment income.

If we have a gîte, and no, not found our house yet, my husband will also use the auto entrepreneur scheme for that, as that will be his source on income. At least, I think that’s the plan, based on the advice we’ve been given.

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Many thanks - great list. Won’t I simply export my car and register it in a France? We want to make it clear that we’re intending to stay and adopt the French life.

I read a couple of the books available at the time ie “Living & working, blah, blah, blah”

But when the time came, my list consisted of:
Sell UK house
Get in car
Drive to boat
Arrive in France
Pay for french house
Start new life.

Admittedly, there’s been hiccups & mishaps, but it seems to have worked.