Travel tips in France
If you want to go to France, please find below lots of travel information.
- The currency in France is the Euro (since 2002)
- Credit and international payment cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Approximate bank opening hours are 09.00 to 12.15 and 13.45 to 17.30. Banks are usually closed on Mondays (or Saturdays).
French numbers have 10 digits (first two digits are the area code) which should be dialed in full wherever you are. To phone France from the UK dial 00 33 but not the first ‘0´ in the area code. To phone the UK from France dial 00 44 but not the first ‘0´ from the STD code.
Make arrangements with your mobile phone company for your mobile to work – but be careful as you pay for the connection charge for people calling you from the UK. To dial another UK mobile in France always prefix it with 00 44 but not the zero from the code.
Electricity, tv and videos
Pick up an adapter before travelling. France is 220 volts – most sockets are two pin. Adapters can be bought easily in UK but not in France.
French TV is SECAM and not compatible with the UK. SECAM videos bought in France will play in black and white on UK (PAL) videos. PAL videos are available in large specialist shops and some hypermarkets – if they are in their original format they will be stamped VO version originale.
Shops usually close for lunch (except in large towns or resorts during the season) often between 12.00 and 14.00, and stay open longer in the evening (usually 19.00).
Most towns have chemists open 24 hours a day (at night, you have to ring).
Most hypermarkets are closed on Sundays and bank holidays (But, on week days, some are open until 22.00).
Most shops, hypermarkets and many restaurants are closed on bank holidays (the dates of Bank Holidays are different from British dates).
Travelling to France
The Channel Islands have regular ferry links with St Malo (Brittany) operated by Condor Ferries and from Carteret & Granville operated by Manches Iles Express (foot passengers only).
Manche Iles Express from Granville & Carteret daily from April to September. From Granville every weekend from October to March – daily crossings during school holidays (Autumn half-term, Christmas et February) : to Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney – Tel 01534.880.756 – www.manche-iles.com/en/ – firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Security Agreement
There is a Social Security agreement between Jersey and France to protect your right to benefits when you move from one country to the other. Before moving to France, you should contact the Jersey Employment and Social Security Department and ask them for a copy of the booklet entitled Social Security and health agreements between Jersey and France, which gives useful information.
Jersey Employment and Social Security Department
The Jersey traveller´s guide to health is a free leaflet published by the Employment and Social Security Department in Jersey, and is available on Internet.
Sécurité Sociale/ Social Security (French)
As for French Social Security system, please log on to this link of the website of the CLEISS- Centre des Liaisons Européennes et internationales de Sécurité Sociale – which means Centre of European and International Liaisons for Social Security. This organisation acts as a liaison body between the French Social Security Institutions and their foreign counterparts as far as the implementation of Community Regulations and bilateral or multilateral Social Security agreements is concerned.
Since each situation is unique ans specific, the CLEISS will study it on a case-by-case basis. That’s why you can write to them directly by e-mail by connecting on that page to send your message. You can also send your letter to the following address.
Centre des Liaisons Européennes et internationales de Sécurité Sociale CLEISS
11 rue de la tour des Dames – 75436 Paris cedex 09 – FRANCE
Immigration in France
For any information about moving to France or any quiry regarding the french administration (visa…), you need to ask the French Consular Agency of Jersey :
French Consular Agency
71 Halkett Place (the office is located in the first floor, above Maison de Normandie)
St Helier – JERSEY JE2 4WG – CI-GB
01534 726 256 – email@example.com
Looking for a job in France
If you are looking for a job in France, you can consult the employment services in your home country and ask for the leaflets “Working Abroad” and “working in France”.
You can receive information and counselling from European advisors at selected Job Centres before leaving your country : http://europa.eu.int/eures.
You may also wish to use the French employment service (Pôle Emploi) to try to find employment.
It is important to bear in mind that there is unemployment in France. And access to employment may depend on the possession of certain qualifications, diplomas, experience or the knowledge of a language.
- Pôle Emploi (French national employment office) : www.pole-emploi.fr (online offers)
You will be able to consult job vacancies, find information on jobs. They will give you some advice on how to set about steps to find a job.
- APEC : Association Pour l’Emploi des Cadres (French association for managerial staff employment) – www.apec.fr (online offers)
The APEC publishes every week a newspaper with job advertisements.
- EUROPA-EURES : http://europa.eu.int
The European Commission created the EURES job Mobility Portal, which gives job seekers information on a wide range of practical, legal land administrative questions.
Buying/Renting a property in Normandy & France
Accommodation to rent
Accommodation prices vary with the geographic area. It is possible to find an accommodation to rent by consulting the advertisements in the newspapers, by calling on an estate agent or an owner organisation (but you will have to pay fees). It is also possible to rent directly from the owner (ex: magazine such as “Particuliers à Particuliers”). Many offers can be found on the Internet. Some town halls may also help people who are looking for accommodation.
Most of the time, a deposit of 2 months rent is required (returned when you leave the accommodation). Agency fees generally rise to 1 month rent. Rent is payable in advance. So while moving in, you may have to pay 3 or 4 months rent (first rent, deposit and agency fees if applicable). Furthermore, some owners and agencies require that someone stand surety for the tenant. That means this person commits himself to paying for the rents if the tenant has financial difficulties.
An inventory of fixtures must be done with the owner or its representative when you get the keys of the accommodation and also when you leave the place. If there is any damage, the owner can keep a part or whole of the deposit.
It’s compulsory that the tenant takes out a comprehensive insurance (“multirisques habitation”). An insurance certificate must be supplied to the owner before you sign the lease.
Accommodation to purchase
Proper legal definition of the property :
Make sure you know how much land is included in the sale and check the boundaries. If you are in doubt, insist that a surveyor define the limits.
Description of the house :
Check that all the outbuildings are included in the property description. Make sure that all you see on the site is included in the contract.
Fixtures & Fittings :
When buying a house in Jersey and the UK, the purchaser is given a list of fixtures and fittings. This is not necessarily the case in France, so make sure everything is listed in the contract.
10% deposit :
The deposit must be paid to either the lawyer or the licensed estate agent at the signing of the sale agreement. The deposit is deducted from the purchase price but no interest is paid for the period between signing the contract and completion. If you decide not to proceed, you will lose your deposit unless there are conditions set out in the contract.
Estate Agent’s Commission :
Ask whether the advertised price includes the commission or not.
Lawyer’s fees :
They are payable on signing the final deed. The rates vary between six to eight per cent if the property is more than 5 years old (3-4 % for new property)
Completion date : The agreement traditionally states that completion will take place within 60 days of signing the contract.
The following organizations will provide you several addresses of estate agencies in Normandy:
- Chambre des notaires du Calvados – Conseil Régional des Notaires (Calvados Chamber of Notaries-Regional Council of Notaries) :
6, place Louis Guillouard-14052 Caen, Cedex 4
Tel: 0033 2 31 85 42 21- Fax: 0033 2 31 85 82 62
- Comité Départemental des Notaires de la Manche (Departmental Committee of Estate Agencies of Manche) :
4, rue St Thomas-50000 Saint-Lô- Tel: 0033 2 33 57 46 80- Fax: 0033 2 33 57 58 29
- Regional Council of Lower Normandy : www.cr-bassenormandie.notaires.fr
On this website, you will find practical and legal information, a list of contacts and classified advertisements.
- www.immobilier-normandie.com : an English/French website which provides information on architectural characteristics of Normandy, listing consultation and an evaluation of properties.
- An English-speaking estate agent (among others) : Mr Bernard Patounas, 2 place du Castel, 50580 Portbail – Tel: 0033 2 33 04 84 20
- Internet French property : Tel: +44 (0) 1702 390 382- Fax: +44 (0) 1702 390 415
firstname.lastname@example.org – www.french-property.com
40 French property agencies displaying over 200 properties in all areas of France, to be purchased or rented. Property & holiday services available, information on buying & selling a property in France, living & working in France…, reference library, French property agent directory…
- Buy French property : www.buyfrenchproperty.com
- Books which may provide required and practical information :
- Buying a property in France, Clive Kristen
- Buying a home in France, David Hampshire
- Buying & restoring Old property in France, David Everett