What's inside this month's edition
New EU border checks: plans at standstill in UK
New checks are due at the EU’s external borders in five months but there is still no information about what will be done at key UK ports to avoid long delays for travellers to France
More Americans abroad apply to give up citizenship
More and more overseas Americans are looking to renounce their US citizenship
French news explained
New rules and changes in France affecting residents and second-home owners
Snow tyre law poses insurance risk
A new law requiring snow tyres or chains for vehicles in mountainous areas is not yet being enforced by fines – but drivers might not be covered by insurance in the event of accidents if they do not comply
Property tax reform date set for 2026
Major changes are on the way for local property tax bills as a national reform of valeurs locatives cadastrales (VLCs), the basis used to work out these taxes, is confirmed for 2026
Car plate recognition system replaces ‘slow’ motorway toll barriers
A busy 88kms of motorway has become péage barrier-free for the first time in France to avoid traffic slowdown.
House ‘flipped’ for €500,000 profit sparks new second home protests
Protests against second homes in the Basque country’s coastal towns reignited when property speculators tried to ‘flip’ a villa for a €500,000 profit after only a few months
Low fees ‘turning dental work into a lottery’
A dentist named Lionel Guedj was jailed for eight years in September for performing unnecessary dental work on his patients – to such an extent that he is estimated to have mutilated thousands of people in Marseille where he worked
Are the prices in duty-free shops really that good?
Brexit has brought the return of duty-free for France-UK travel but this does not always equal savings. We explain more
18-year-olds: UK families fight to get residency cards
Families have told us of their struggle to obtain Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) cards for teenagers turning 18
Guide dog-owners hit by Brexit travel rules
Blind people using guide dogs are lobbying for easier post-Brexit procedures for entering the EU from the UK
Solution for website bug to apply for French work permit
Officials have passed on a tip for people having problems applying online for a work permit for a non-EU foreign worker to come to France
EU citizenship case relaunched
Positive news is reported by the campaign group EU Britizens on its continuing fight over Britons’ loss of EU citizenship rights.
Paris metro and tram seats transformed into slippers
A range of limited edition slippers made from fabric used for Paris public transportation seats is now available online
New low-cost train lines
New destinations have been added to France’s low-cost, high-speed Ouigo rail network
Ecological burials gain popularity slowly in face of tradition
Grievers are increasingly turning to eco-friendly burials, despite France remaining far behind most western countries in adapting its rituals
Warning over ‘man with van’ removals
Unlicenced ‘man with van’ services advertised on sites such as Leboncoin leave clients without redress when things go wrong, the house-movers’ trade body has warned
Start-up offers property rental with option to buy
A start-up is offering a new way to become a homeowner with a rent-to-buy scheme similar to those used to purchase cars
Fortified Briançon repels invaders – but not tourists
Inhabitants of Briançon in south east France are proud of the fact that their city has never been captured by enemies
Practical advice for living in France
Can I designate our French home as main residence?
Residency complications can arise but for most people the main criterion is having one’s home – in the sense of a principal private residence – in France
Is gift tax due if daughter buys a car for father?
In France, gifts made during one’s lifetime still fall – give or take a few differences – under standard inheritance tax laws
Do premium bond winnings have to be declared in France if they are reinvested?
Unfortunately, yes, it does not matter if you take the cash amount or if it goes into purchasing new bonds
Property watch in Department 38: Isère
Formerly the province of Dauphine, Isère has the sprawling conglomeration of Grenoble as its capital, with its 450,000 population making it the largest alpine city
Can notaire refuse land purchase money from a bank in Luxembourg?
It is linked to money laundering and fiscal fraud regulations, and especially follows a European and several French laws on the subject
Our financial writer answers your money queries on page 33.
You can find more advice for managing your money in France in our Money and Tax section on pages 33 and 34, and online
Reader questions answered
- Is it legal to bury a pet in your garden?
- Can my son born in France pass on his UK citizenship?
- Credit card purchase protection - I there anything like the UK’s section 75 on banks in France?
- What is the correct abbreviation of ‘Monsieur’?
- Can we modify our porch plans without reapplying for permit?
Subscribers can also find answers to reader questions in the Your Questions section online.
Swap snow for sun to make merry in magical Marseille this Christmas
Hit the streets of Marseille to take in the countless cultural and culinary delights that this sunny, vibrant Provençal city has to offer at Christmas time
‘I studied for my Bac in France, and travelled to Britain for rowing'
Franco-British rower Susannah Duncan talks about learning to speak French in France and rowing in Great Britain
Some classic chateaux potagers and parterres to enjoy during December
Wrap up warm and discover some of the finest gardens to visit this month, from the Loire Valley to Versailles
‘It’s sort of a family album from my point of view’
Photographer Andrew Birkin talks about choosing to stay in the shadow of his superstar sister, and about his new book of photographs that reveals intimate family moments of one of France’s most iconic couples
More in the November edition
Food and wine: