Cost of living
A bigger budget for British buyers to spend on a property in France is not the only result of the improved sterling to euro exchange rate. Whether you’ve bought a permanent or second home, there are numerous savings to be made on living costs on the other side of the Channel too.
Paying the bills Being able to afford larger properties with greater amenities normally means an accompanying spike in bills. However the cost of maintaining a French property has also become much easier to manage, as utilities have become less of a burden to homeowners.
Of course, utility bills are difficult to quantify given that people’s usage is so varied, but I averaged out comments on expat forums for similar sized properties in Brittany and this came out at €940. These were full-time residents, so the bill is higher than for those owning a second home, but in this example, a further £131.50 per year is saved compared to five years ago.
Petrol prices Many also choose to drive to France, and particularly to Brittany as it is easy to reach from the UK by car. In January an EU commission found that the average petrol price in euros per litre in France was €1.26 compared to €1.38 in the UK. The good news is that not only is fuel cheaper in France but the euro is cheaper now than it was five years ago as well.
So, the cost of fuel on a round-trip from Calais to Morbihan, a distance of roughly 775 miles and given the average MPG of UK cars at 37.8, would be £15 less now that it would have been five years ago. Those who live in Brittany will find that fuel costs them much less than it would have done. If we take the average mileage of UK drivers of around 7,900 miles in a year, the amount of fuel you would buy in that time would now be £165 cheaper than it would have been five years ago, thanks to the exchange rate.
So, driving around all of Brittany’s towns and attractions will cost you less money, which means more to spend on enjoying yourself when you get there! Day-to-day life Savings can also be made in the weekly food shop, local taxes, and even for non-essential purchases such as gifts for family back home and treats for yourself as a result of the improved exchange rate.
With rising living costs and property prices in the UK, you’ll find your money goes so much further in France.
Lewis Edmonds is Affiliate Relationship Manager at Foreign Currency Direct plc currencies.co.uk