France’s rich history, together with her long-kept traditions encourages visitors and immigrants from all over the globe.. It is the world’s sixth-richest country and contributes large portions of Europe’s agricultural produce, including of course, wines to suit every palate. The constantly varying landscape also acts as a drawcard. You can happily have breakfast in Paris and then take a leisurely nine-hour drive for dinner in Monte Carlo.
If you are considering a move to France, read the complete guide. This article will help you make an informed decision on the costs of moving and living in France.
Quick France Facts:
- Population: 67,897,000 (2022 estimate)
- Official Language: French is France’s official and national language, which is spoken by the vast majority of the population. German, Basque, Flemish, Italian, Catalan, and Breton are also spoken in certain provinces.
- GDP Per Capita: $ 43, 519 USD
- Snails – escargot: The French eat an estimated 25,000 tons of snails annually. They are generally eaten on special occasions rather than as everyday fare.
- Currency: Euro (€). As of September 2022, £1 = $1.09, €1 = $0.97, $1 CAD = $0.73, $1 AUD = $0.65
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to France
The table below shows container shipping costs to France from various countries around the world.
2. France Housing Costs
France has a wide varieties of properties for rental or purchase. Property prices are obviously at their highest in Paris but if you move into more rural areas you can pick up property at bargain prices. That said, being a great handyman/woman would be a distince advantage, as many of these properties need a lot of work..
Monthly Rental Prices in France
1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: €550 – €1400
1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: €400 – €1000
3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: €900 – €3000
3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: €750 – €2000
Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Center: €6571
Price per square meter (10.7 square feet) to buy outside the city: €4473
France Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in France compare with other countries around the globe.
United Kingdom is 14.39% more expensive
United States is 101.00% more expensive
Australia is 44.87% more expensive
Singapore is 183.38% more expensive
UAE is 43.44% more expensive
Spain is 15.27% cheaper
How to Save on Housing Costs
Different areas – different prices. Apartment prices in Paris are higher than in other cities. However, the job market in Paris is buoyant and ever changing which is why almost 20% of France’s population live in this amazing city. Rentals and purchase prices in rural areas are much more affordable and suitable for retirement as there are few employment opportunities. The south of France is a very popular retirement area for the French and the high prices reflect its popularity.
3. French Food, Grocery, and Restaurant Costs
France is a world-famous food paradise and offers sumptuous flavors for everyday life. You can enjoy the variety of meats, fresh fish, and seafood in Groceries. Also, the chain of restaurants offers a diverse range of delicious foods.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: €15 – € 20
- Takeout Coffee: €2.90 – € 3.10
- Bottle of Coke: €2.66 – € 2.70
- 1L of milk: €1.02 – €1.04
- Loaf of Bread: €1.57 – €1.60
- 12 Eggs: €3.12 – €4.29
- 1kg Chicken: €10.53 – €10.80
- 1kg Beef: €18.21 – €18.80
- 1kg Apples: €2.63 – €2.98
- 1kg White Rice: €1.95 – €2.00
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
UK restaurants are 4.27% cheaper, and groceries are 28.99% cheaper than France
United States restaurants are 101.07% more expensive, and groceries are 119.52% more expensive than in France
Australian restaurants are 1.06% more expensive, and groceries are 16.06 % more expensive than France
Singapore restaurants are 9.77% cheaper, and groceries are 14.56% more expensive than France
UAE restaurants are 10.43% cheaper, and groceries are 19.86% cheaper than France
Spanish restaurants are 22.70% cheaper, and groceries are 37.49% cheaper than France
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants, and Groceries
Know your supermarkets: France has many independently owned grocery stores, selling a wide variety of good quality produce. The are farmers’ markets are a delight to wander round and ensure you buy many items that weren’t on your shopping list. There are also health stores which stock ranges of organic and health foods. Popular supermarkets in France are Carrefour, Intermarche, Super U, and Cora.
Find Cheap Eats: France isn’t the cheapest place to eat, but if you hunt around, you’ll find some good restaurants that offer early evening specials and quiet day specials. Most restaurants will have different priced set menus which gives you options. Have a look at the following sites for suggestions –Trip Advisor, The Good Life, Le Foodist and World of Wanderlust in France.
4. France Alcohol Costs
France has long been known for producing some of the world’s finest wines. It is also famous for its regional alcoholic beverages such as Kir, made with white wine from Burgundy; pastis from the south of France; Picon beer from the north east region, to name but a few.
Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: €6.00 – €7.00
Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: €4.00 – €8.00
Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: €3.00 – €6.00
Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: €1.00 – €4.50
Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: €4.00 – €13.00
How to drink for less in France
Keep an eye on the local papers and flyers for cheap drinks in supermarkets, bars, clubs, and restaurants.
Many bars and restaurants have special offers during the week and weekends. Most restaurants and bars set their ‘happy hour’ from 5pm to 9pm in Fance.
5. France Transportation Fares
France has an outstanding public transport system. You can use the metro, train, or bus to get anywhere in the country. Plus, there are international airports in Lyon, Paris, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux.
Here are some example ticket costs.
Adult Single Metro – €1.69
One-day ticket – €3.26
Monthly season ticket, unlimited – €65.20
How to save money on public transport
Buy a one day pass to take you all over the city
Instead of buying one ticket, ask for ten tickets from the Navigo Easy and get a €2.03 discount
If you want to go on more than six trips, Use Navigo Jour to save some money
If you are aged between10 to 26, you can use Navigo Jeune Weekend and enjoy any means of transport without restriction
6. Cost of Internet in France
Internet prices in France are on the rise like everywhere else around the globe. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from September 2022 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym, and Leisure
France has various climate zones depending on where you are located. Overall, France is generally mild to hot in summer, cool to cold in winter, and rainfall occurs throughout the year. Hence bring both light and warm clothing when you visit France.
Spring brings mild temperatures and light rains (March to May). The summer season (June to September) can be hot, especially in the South of France, but it rarely gets above 35 degrees. You can enjoy beautiful autumn days before winter, when snow is common in mountainous areas, offering a myriad of winter sports. The average rainfall is 836.2mm, with May being the wettest month.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
Pair of Jeans: €40 – €110
Summer Dress: €20 – €60
Running Shoes (Trainers): €50 – €120
Business Shoes: €60 – €180
Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): €26 – €55
Deodorant: €3.68 – € 4.00
Toilet Paper (4 rolls): €1.85
Gym membership: €20 – €50 per month
Movie (cinema) ticket: €8 – €14
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in France
France has an affordable public transport system, but driving gives you freedom to stop and enjoy the view. Buying a brand new or second-hand car in France is not difficult. However, there’s plenty of paper work involved and the usual long list of rules to follow.
All second-hand cars over four years old should have passed a Controlee Technique six months before the date of sale. This information must be displayed on the car’s windscreen.
Before you buy a second-hand car, make sure that the seller cancels his ‘Carte Grise.’ Car insurance is not expensive, and anyone can drive your car as long as it’s insured. You can drive with a foreign licence for twelve months. If you are planning to live in France for longer than a year, you’ll need to change to a French licence. If you want to exchange your foreign driver’s license, you have to follow the process here.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in France:
- Volkswagen Golf: €24,000
- 1 liter (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): €1.99
- Other fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title, and registration fees is €3000 per annum.
Ways to save money driving in France
Need your car/vehicle moved to France? Then read our guide to Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping.
9. Taxes in France
In France, sales tax (VAT) is 20% and is added to most goods and services. Generally, the price you see on an item includes the sales tax.
If you own your home, you will be subject to property tax based on the area in which you live and the size of the property you live in. Learn more about property tax in France at France Accountants.
Finally, if you decide to buy an apartment or house in France, you’ll have to pay a transfer tax of between 5 – 6.4%. Click here to learn more.
10. Flight Costs from France
If you do make a move to France, here’s how much it will cost to fly to major cities based on the lowest one-way fares from Rome2rio as of the end of 2022:
New York: €264
Los Angeles: €398
Cape Town: €337
Hong Kong: €442
Other France Relocation Tips
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in France, but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to France Alone
Moving is always stressful, but moving on your own can be exceptionally difficult. Like all countries around the world, making friends in a city is always more difficult than stiking up a friendship in a small town or village. Here are a few tips on settling in quickly in France.
- Meetups: France has many Meetup groups, Internations meetings and Social Groups covering a wide range of activities such as adventure, music, dancing, and many more.
- Attend local events: There is always something going on in France, and many activities are free. Have a look at the following sites for inspiration – Frommer’s, Planet ware, and The Crazy Tourist.
12. Moving to France with a Family
France has a lot to attract families. There are museums, parks, national parks, art galleries, music, the beach, water sports and, of course, there’s Disneyland in Paris.
- New parents (or parents-to-be): Check out Baby Center for advice, courses, and ways to meet other parents or parents-to-be.
- Live in a family-friendly area: Bordeaux is very popular for families and has a fast train system between Bordeaux and Paris. Also, the house prices are lower in Bordeaux. Plus, this city is rich with architectural landmarks, parks, and green spaces.
- Find things to do with the kids: France has lots for children to do. Have a look at the following website for inspiration – Travel Mamas, Explore France, Holidays with Kids and Lonely Planet.
13. Moving to France for Work
Moving to a new country for work is one of the reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make a move.
France is a big tourist destination and employs many people in the service industry – accommodation, restaurants, bars, tour guides, historians, cruise ships and transport in general.
Other employment opportunities lie in the many multinational companies in the country. Jobs in the construction industry are on the rise due to the need for housing and office space. Engineering, management, tourism, agriculture, education, healthcare, retail, logistics and transportation are all areas which employ people from other countries.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: France is ranked as one the best European country to work in, and workers enjoy a 35-hour working week. The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea of how much more you’ll want to be made to make a move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to France but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Monster and Indeed. You may also want to Google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews.
14. Moving to France from Australia
There are approximately 5,500 Aussies living in France. Living in France is 23% cheaper than living in Australia. If you are thinking of moving from Australia to France, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison: If you look at the population of France and compare it with Australia, France has 67.8 million people while Australia has 25.9 million. Plus, Australia has a 1,304% larger land mass than France.
- Join the Expat groups: MeetUp, Internations, and Facebook offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in France.
15. Moving to France from Canada
France is a good choice for Canadians, especially French-speaking Canadians. If you’re considering making a move from France, here are a few things to consider.
- Size: If you compare the population size of France with Canada, France’s population is twice as big. However, Canada covers 1,710% more land mass than France.
- Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations and Expats blog.
16. Moving to France from the United Kingdom
UK residents enjoy France and its culture and have been holidaying and emigrating there for a long time. Ten percent of the 200,000 Brits who live permanently in France live in and around Paris.
If you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: France and UK almost the same size population – 64 million and 67 million respectively.
- Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are enjoying the weather, then go to Internations, Expatica and British in France.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If you want to start pricing out how much it will cost to move to France, you can start by comparing moving quotes here.