Staying in France whilst waiting to move house in UK

We are selling our UK house and will need to move out mid January. We are buying a new house here which will not be ready until 31 July.
We would like to come to our French house for 6 months (with a visa for me!) but, how do we handle the fact we will have no UK address from the point of view of : car insurance, driving licence; Inland revenue; banks; forwarding post and any other number of things?
Has anyone done this or knows how to handle.
With thanks in advance.

When i say, ‘here’ I mean a new house in the UK, where I am now.

Use a mailbox service, and then if need to add on a forwarding service.

Like this one which are the ones I think you see on high streets.

Or ask a family member!

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I think you would be obliged to keep some kind of base in the UK because as you say if you are claiming to be resident in a country then you need to maintain a primary residence there on paper at least, even if you are not there all the time.
Where are you storing your furniture etc? Don’t you have a relative you could move in with? Failing that, rent a cheap apartment?

This is difficult as the addresses of these mailing places are often known as such to official senders so you might find things you need to receive are not being sent by those senders. If you contact them because things are not being received you can open a hornets nest if you are not yet in a position to provide them another address.

Am I correct that you’re not intending to become (tax-) resident in France, you are intending to remain fully resident in the UK but you just have a gap before your new UK house is ready?

You could pay the Post Office for a year’s forwarding to another address (best if it’s not a [known] mail receiving place but you might be ok for a shorter period). Warning IME the service does not reliably stop mail for you going to the old address. Is there any way you could ask the new people at your old address to hold anything that slips through and not sent it back marked “moved”?

Also as new houses have a way of being delayed do you have a fallback plan to avoid spending 180 or is it 183? days in same calendar year in France so as to avoid becoming resident and therefore potentially all your worldwide income becoming taxable in France for that year.

It seems to me that a mail address would be OK for some things but not for others.
For car insurance I believe the question is, where is the vehicle normally kept. If it is an address you have never visited, I do not see how it would be correct to claim your vehicle is normally kept there.
I imagine there would also be a gap during which you are not on the electoral register. This may or may not have implications, for instance it may cause issues with future credit checks / criminal records checks if a person disappears off the radar for six months.

I don’t think so. As long as you are not out of the country for more than 183 days and have ties to the UK (family, being in the process of buying a house) you remain resident. After all homeless people are resident! (Many use churches and homeless shelters for their postal address).

We used Post Office forwarding services when we left and it wasn’t brilliant. Lots of things missed (could just have been that post office) and we had to pay for each possible variation of our names!

The reputable mailbox places are well accepted.

Oh yes I am sure HMRC would consider you tax resident (although I believe one of the “ties” in the “ties test”, is having accommodation available to you).
I was thinking more of day to day things such as DVLA, car insurance, possibly NHS entitlement.

There are a large number of people who go on extended holidays…from those who spend 180 days a year in Benidorm to the six month world cruises brigade. No-one bothers about them not actually being at their address. So really the only difference is that she is in between addresses.

You wouldn’t be able to renew your name on the electoral register, but it would sit there until the next time they send out confirmation letters, same with DVLA, or bank accounts. As long as it’s under 183 days and you can show you are setting up a permanent home then few will quibble.

Thanks for your responses. We could perhaps use our next door neighbour as our address, we are going to have to ask them to leave our other car there, we could then move our car insurance there.
So you don’t think we have to worry about the Driving Licence? What if there was an accident or something?
We are not going to be tax resident in France so will ensure we are back within the 180 days. Furniture will have to go into storage; we can stay with my sister for a few weeks possibly but it wouldn’t be ideal, We also have our dog to think about.
I am a bit reluctant to rent something just for the sake of having an address, such a lot of money!
Will the Post Office forward overseas?
Thanks again.

The post office will forward overseas but it is extremely expensive. What we have done is to forward within the UK (in fact to our neighbour) and ring her every week to ask if anything has arrived. She is impeccably honest so we have no problem asking her to open our post if necessary… Perhaps your sister?

There are hundreds, perhaps even thousand(s), of British people in France driving on UK licences with an out of date UK address. For immigrants once you have left the UK you can’t change the address on your licence to France, and currently there is a restriction on exchanging a Uk licence for a French one. For french residents this is ok, as French driving licences have no address so not an issue.

Since you are remaining a UK resident it is an issue. You risk a fine if driving in the UK, but there is little you can do about it as you have no UK address and Mail Box address won’t do…. Drive carefully!

Take care…many utilities and gov departments don’t like mail box adresses

That’s why you need to use a proper one…which are ok except for things like electoral roll and dvla which require you to have a physical address in the UK.

You can use post office forwarding for all your mail to a friend or a relative’s house in the UK. You could ask them to open the mail to check if there is anything that needs immediate attention and they can take a photo and mail it to you. My daughter does this for me. There is not a problem with this.
Your driving license is valid in France but you must get a green card for your car insurance (ask your insurer). Since July the UK has arrived at an agreement with France that Uk nationals residing in France can continue to use their license until they expire. Only until there is less than six months remaining before expiry should you exchange your license for a French one. As you are not planning to become resident in France this does not affect you. It follows (if you were to become resident) that it is therefore impossible to have a physical presence in the UK and the DVLA has adjusted their protocol to allow for this. Someone mentioned above ‘if you had an accident’. The papers you need in case of accident are your car Insurance papers. (which by law in France must be carried in the car with your MOT certificate and other car paperwork). You will already be carrying your Passport and Visa papers with you, which are sufficient evidence of your existence. As another person says above; the French License does not carry your address on it and as already stated above by me, your UK license is valid in France.
Inland revenue will not be affected unless you become resident in France and are here for more than 183 days. Check with HMRC if they need to know. There is a reciprocal agreement that has continued regardless of Brexit.
In effect: nothing changes for you if you are here on a Visa.
I assume you have a French Bank account already for your French Property.