Learn French language
In France, we have the same problem as Spain: we defend a lot of our values and then don’t expect foreigners to speak another language but ours. If you cannot speak French, you will find it hard and you might feel more isolated, especially if you want to work or set up a business. Try to study French before moving to France and when you arrive, organise extra lessons (force yourself to speak to other French people, keep a book on you for vocabulary, etc.)
The cost of living has to be well evaluated
.Foreigners generally come to France after having sold their house in their previous country of residence – but with no other source of income. Make sure you have an additional source of income when arriving in France. Unfortunately, overestimating how long this money will last is common. Beware as some costs are more expensive in France than in the UK.
Don’t underestimate the cost of health
Remember that only 50 – 75% of health costs are refundable and top up insurance is required for the rest. Check for more information with regards your self-insurance. We particularly advise you to have an EHIC card which covers you if you are sick or if an unfortunate accident happened to you.
Don’t avoid registering for French taxes
Whether you have a French income or not, it is compulsory to register for tax (“impôts” in French) even if there is nothing to declare. If you fail to declare yourself as a new resident in France, there could be a knock-on effect with issues such as capital gains tax.
Understand well the stipulation of a contract
When buying a home and signing a “compromis de vente” (promise to sell) and the “acte de vente” (act of sale), you’d better understand all the contents. If not, you might not discover major problems when they occur. You should understand the details of the sale because a signature is the meaning of a document fully understood with all the risks it contains.
Avoid black market
France is one of the kings of fraud in Europe. Indeed, many people try to earn a living by doing building work on the black. The problem with using these people is that you have no guarantees for the work, no possibility to complain about injustice if he/she causes problems to your property, and therefore no comeback.
Pay bills on time
In France bills are expected to be paid by the due date. Should you fail to pay your bills or taxes on time, a failure can mean automatic penalty payments or worse: being cut off. Please find all the information available in the nearest tax office, if you don’t want to face such a sorry plight.
And the most essential mistake to avoid when moving to France is – drive on the right!