Cost of liv­ing

Living France - - Les Pratiques -

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 cur­ren­

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