Please help a total green horn fill in the blanks?

I don't know if this is possible to work out but I am after a very rough estimate of costs in France, a sort of feasibility study if you like..I know that everyone has different circumstances etc but I'm just looking for somewhere in the ball park figures... I'm trying to work out how much its going to cost per year to run a house in France. I plan to initially spend 6 months there, mainly summer. I will park a car at Limoges airport so I can get back and forth to the house. This will cost 686 euros. Ive no idea of the taxes or other charges I will have to pay. The house is valued at 100k euros in St Brice sur Vienne. I have wrote down a list of expenses that I think but will probably be missing a few and would appreciate it if anyone on here could help fill in the blanks and add costs I've missed... Thanks

Airport Parking 12 month 686

Tax Fonciere ?

Tax Habitat ?

Gas ?

Electric ?

Water ?

House insurance ?

Broadband/TV ?

Car tax/insurance ?

And any others that I have not thought of?

I installed a woodburner a couple of years back in a reopened chimney, it's the best thing I ever did !

Peter my friend,

Thanks so much for your kind offer, that's a lovely gesture....

Its bottled gas by the way but only for the cooker.. The central heating is oil. The house has got a chimney but no fireplace? I would possibly try to install a wood burner, to take the chill off on cold nights maybe..

From what I can gather from the replies Ive had, I think in the region of 2500-3000 euros a year but only staying 6 months wouldn't be a million miles away..

If I love it over there I was thinking after a while I could live there all year round and rent my house out here to help with the finances and still have a foothold in the UK should I ever want to come back..

Hi, as a ballpark, it’s about 1200 euros a month to live here all in. I realize that you are only talking six months of the year, but I think that it’s not that far out. For the absent months I would estimate around half that. Providing of course you don’t eat out all the time, or employ staff to clean and gardeners to keep the acres in check.
There will be lots of localized variations of course but there are always swings and roundabouts.
I also wouldn’t leave a car at the airport, it might be cheaper to hire one just for the time you are here? Ask at your local and you will soon meet and make friends who will be able to advise on all aspects.

Hi Denis,

Shouldn't worry too much about airport charges. I'm five minutes away and Val sounds near also. I have friends just across the river from you who can help also when they are over.

Very rough guesswork for St Brice :

Tax d'Hab 300€

Tax Fon 500€

Mains gas or bottled ?

Electrics, depends on EDF fusebox

Water 100€

Dustbins 24€ three monthly for me

Phone/internet etc packages from 30€ - 60€

House insurance 400€

Car insurance 500€ depends of course

Chimney sweep 75€

Wood from 40€

As Andrew said, "how long is a piece of string" ?

All of the above, of course, etc etc...

The most important thing IMHO, and the thing which can turn a financially feasible project into a complete nightmare, is the knowledge or otherwise of your village and your neighbours.

My advice to any 'complete greenhorn' would be:

Even if you have found the house of your dreams, live in rented accommodation somewhere near first, to i) understand how to recognise and understand le petit voix, so that ii) you can get a feel of the people and possible pitfalls. If I were you, I'd trawl the forums of SFN a bit looking for peoples 'neighbours from hell' stories, so that you can get an idea of what to look out for, and how charming neighbours can become pitbulls if you happen to push the wrong buttons, and good neighbours are worth more than gold.

Good luck and enjoy France

può darsi che abbia ragione...! :-D

As if you have done so badly! Mind you, had you been in Italy now instead you would probably be fatter ;-)

SFN is a sooo useful for newbies - shame it didn't exist all those years ago when some of us ventured out here and had to discover everything ourselves!

Thanks Bill,

Can you tell me more about the "list`s of people who will pick/take you to Airport for cost of fuel"

Sounds like a great idea...

Thank you so much Liz for your gracious offer and friendship...

Wow!.. Thank you all so much... Just want to say I'm overwhelmed with the response to my request.. You have all been so helpful and I have gleaned so much from your replies and suggestions including "Friend Requests"..

There is much more to consider than i thought. I shall now try to digest all of this and follow up on some of the ideas that have given me food for thought...

I now have a much clearer picture in my mind and once again thanks to all responders..

I'm sure I will be back with plenty more questions as I go on......

Gratefully Yours


That's right both of you. Our local record is a car 12 years here in France, owner also boasts not to need French so that is his excuse for not understanding French laws. He follows SFN and AI but does not join either, I suspect he is afraid of being publicly shot down for his attitude. The car is untested, uninsured, driven far too fast and I imagine he does not take Vichy water with his restaurant lunches before jumping back in it. Sooner or later...

Well said Andrew - makes me tapping mad. The Brit illegals driving around in France are normally the first ones to bleat on about foreign registered cars driving around on British roads without paying road tax!

Yep, there seem to be loads of UK cars in France that are no longer legal in either country for insurance/MOT reasons - this subject comes up again and again and every couple of years we go through explaining things again - loads of old threads for those who are unsure but basically if you're here in France then please sort your life out and get the car(s) sorted so it 's/they are legal (like everything else for that matter!)

Oh dear - the old '183 Day Game' that many play so you're not alone Sue!

I'm not sure where you're getting your 'official' info from but be very careful...French residency is not simply determined by whether or not you spend 183 days / year here. That's simply one of the 'tie-breakers'.

Residency predominantly revolves around your 'centre of economic interests' e.g. property, expenditure, activity such as bank and credit card use / phone use / internet use, family ties, work - to name but a few. Of course, time spent in a country also comes into it.

So, you've stated you spend 5/6 months a year at your holiday home in France - so you could well be near your 183 limit. However if you then take any further trips outside of the UK during the year - you could end up spending less than 183 days in the UK. This would, by default, make France the country where you spend more time than any other during the year - essentially making you French resident for tax purposes.

There are other implications for healthcare after spending more than 3 months in France with an intention to stay longer. Plus - car registration could technically also be an issue if your car is in France for more than 4 months. I believe the UK are also having a clamp down on non-UK registered vehicles belonging to mostly Polish immigrants?

As you know, French border controls have been fully reinstated for EU citizens, making it easy for the authorities to track length of stay in France. Watch this space......

If you are a permanent resident in France you should register and insure your car in France (not something that all expats do but it is the legal way). You are considered a resident of France if you spend more than 183 days there in a year. (Another thing that expats often ignore but I'm telling you the official way). If you have a holiday home and do not stay in France for more than 183 days then you are still considered UK resident so you can maintain your UK insurance, tax and MOT. Because we take our car back and forth to UK and always return within the 183 days we have not registered it in France. We insured through Nationwide who do lengthy European cover for the time we are in France. Not all insurance companies will do that. When we decided to leave our motorhome in France permanently we discovered that it must be insured whether we were driving it or not and to get the insurance we needed to go through the French registration system. A bit of a nightmare but we got there in the end and it does show that you do not have to be a resident to register a vehicle in France.

sorry, see the point. Just thought it might be a useful link.

Yes Liz - but this has been comprehensively covered on the Carte Vitale post. It's not relevant to my question.

Sorry I did post the link and "assumed" that people would understand that.. (never assume, I know! I think this will help a lot of non-EU early retirees from AU and the US though or am I reading it wrong? It was to bring France into line with the new EU ruling that now removes the 5-year previous necessity and replaces it with the 3-month residency.