What changes in France in August

Green-car bonus; fuel, gas, and electricity costs; income tax bills; back-to-school grants; summer sales; and Paris e-scooters - what is changing in France this month

Bonus for buying a greener car

The rules surrounding France's hugely successful prime a la conversion or prime a la casse - financial assistance given to car owners who trade in their older vehicles for newer ones with a less polluting engine - become more strict as of August 1 to ease pressure on public finances.

The amount of the bonus decreases from €2,000 to €1,500.

Cars that cost more than €60,000 will no longer qualify for the prime - while buyers will now be means-tested. Qualification is based on the buyer's revenu fiscal de reference (stated on tax bills and statements). The threshold is set at €13,489, which means that only the lowest-earning households are likely to qualify.

Wealthier households, with a revenu fiscal de reference of more than €21,690 will no longer be eligible for the prime when buying Crit'Air 1 and 2 vehicles - limiting them to buying Crit'Air Zero vehicles only to qualify for a bonus.

The price of fuel

As holidaymakers hit the roads, there is some good news for anyone travelling long distances. Since mid-July the price of fuel - both SP96 petrol and diesel - has been falling and is set to continue that way in August.

Gas and electricity

Following a 6.8% drop in the cost of gas in July, the Energy regulatory commission announced the price of gas is set to fall an average of 0.5% from August 1.

On the flipside, the Energy Regulation Commission said there will be a 1.23% rise in electricity prices for about 80% of households in France in August - on top of June's 5.9% increase.

Tax notices

If you have not received your income tax notice already, it will arrive by August 7.

From mid-August, you will be able to modify errors or add details to your tax assessment (avis d'imposition), such as a marriage or a divorce, that could affect your payment. These changes could be done either online, or by resending the tax application. Make sure you include a letter declaring the update on your application.

Back-to-school grants

Due on August 20, the allocation de rentrée scolaire (ARS) back-to-school allowances will be 0.3% higher than in 2018. The sums - which are means-tested - will be up to €368.84 for pupils aged 6 to 10, €389.19 for 11-14 year olds, and €402.67 for 15-18 year olds.

Summer sales end

It's the last chance to grab a bargain. The summer sales period ends on August 6 across much of France. There is a little more time in the Pyrénées-Orientales and Alpes-Maritime départements - where sales run until August 13; and it is August 20 in Corsica.

Trotinettes

As reported, electric scooter users can no longer park them on the pavements of Paris - and must be placed in designated spaces for bicycles or motoribikes pending the creation of dedicated spaces. Anyone who flouts the local law - which came into force on July 30 - is liable to a fine of €35.

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