Second home furnishings/DIY equipment

Good morning to you all,
My OH and I purchased a holiday home in Vienne last November and, due to travel restrictions, have been unable to visit it since.
We have an electrician and plumber doing some work on the upgrade during our absence but would ideally like to spend the summer continuing the renovations ourselves.
My question is, can we still bring items into France from the UK? Ideally we have tools that we would want to use, as well as some furniture to relocate. We have no intention of reselling anything that comes into France but we are not moving to France permanently which means that most of the advice I have seen doesn’t apply.
Does anyone have any experience or advice? It would be gratefully received :+1:t2:


Part of the fun is buying 2nd hand furniture in France - it can be dirt cheap and very good quality.


and don’t forget that you can hire tools, equipment and materials in France…


I would definitely support Mat’s comment about buying second hand furniture in France - it’s great fun going to the depot/ventes and all the really good quality furniture I now have in my main home came from one of those!

Tools though are a different matter - I think there may be ways round that though and would imagine that, if they were obviously used, there wouldn’t be a problem. However, I don’t know, having never tried it, and others may have more information on this.

Yes, I am going to head to the bricantes as soon as I can, I cant wait to browse! But I do have some ornaments/ bedding and other bits which I have collected and want to relocate. They aren’t very valuable but don’t want to fall foul of import tax.

Round here they have Recycleries - which is items allocated at the tip to be too good to throw away - I know it sounds good but we have found some excellent very cheap gems.

If you fancy going with older style antique furniture it is unpopular with French and therefore very cheap if bought at the correct place.


Realistically I think it unlikely that if you were to come over with a car full (just not bulging) of stuff I think it unlikely that you would get charged - but I would also be keen to hear of other peoples experiences.

I would have thought so too - especially if none of it is new. Trouble is, with things being the way they are on the travel front, no-one has probably tested it out yet… :thinking:

Time will tell I guess! OHs tools definitely look used so no issues with resale there :joy:

In any case, Emma, a lot of what you are planning bringing over are just what other people might well be bringing for a camping holiday! In fact, thinking about it, that is exactly what you’ll be having :rofl:

We go camping (or did in better times) and ALWAYS take a full set of bedding with us as we don’t believe in roughing it! OK, ornaments might be unusual to bring but they will, of course be wrapped in the bedding…

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Very true @AngelaR, I would always bring a Chinoiserie tea-set camping. You never know who might pop in!! :cake::cupcake::coffee:

Well as long as you don’t have a car stuffed with a side of bacon, over 10,000 euros in cash, valuable heirlooms and boxes of plants and seed potatoes…all of which are now forbidden. And you have a return ticket.

Vos objets à usage personnel sont admis sans formalité douanière ou fiscale en France. Leur nature et leur nombre ne doivent pas revêtir de caractère commercial.

À votre retour d’un pays tiers*, les agents des douanes peuvent vous demander de justifier la situation régulière de certains objets (bijoux, appareils photos, caméscopes, ordinateurs, téléphones portables, etc.). Vous devez prouver que vous les avez achetés dans l’Union européenne taxes comprises, ou, si vous les avez achetés dans un pays tiers, que vous avez déjà payé les droits et taxes éventuellement dus dans l’Union européenne, en fournissant les factures ou quittances douanières.

Here’s the detailed guide


My wife and I volunteer at the local Secours Populaire and they have a shop selling second hand furniture and clothing; it’s amazing what people chuck out!


That’s a nugget. My flat in Valencia is for sale with some furniture incluido. I was going to take the beds but maybe now won’t. They are only IKEA ‘Sutans’, so there must be plenty around this area, there being an IKKY at Caen.

There are some good depot ventes in the area as well…

I have brought quite a lot of personal items plus furniture from Ireland to France. No problem by ferry. Last week I traveled from France to Ireland and even with the Covid restrictions, noone bothered me regarding luggage etc. Just long getting off the ferry as all the trucks were searched before.

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I think Ireland to France would be very different now thank UK to France thanks to Brexit.

You can bring any furniture you want into your house. There is no legal hassle about such unless you do it in a significantly large quantity. And they might just ask to see in order to assure you were not passing articles for resale.

If you buy in France, however, you will of course pay the VAT here.

Were I you, I’d not worry about customs unless you come in with a truck full of personal belongings, which just might tickle their attention. But they are very likely (if they bother to stop you) to just have a look to assure the content consists of personal belongings and not anything new for resale …

Try LeBonCoin too Christopher, mainly cheaper even than the Brocantes etc (except when they are professional sellers but you can usually spot them!). In spring / summer there is (usually - who knows this year) vide greniers all over the place here which are great for picking bits up as well, and fun!

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At risk of telling grandmother to suck eggs, if you bring power tools REMEMBER TO BRING THE ADAPTER!

Don’t ask me how I know that.