New rules and other changes that start in February in France

Key points include inheritance tax payments and prices rises to some everyday services

Changes include an increase in pensions, a simplified inheritance tax process, and tobacco product price rises
Published Last updated

Electricity price hike

Electricity bills for most people in France will rise by 9.8% (or 8.6% for those on regulated tariffs). Estimates are that 97% of people in France have one of these two tariffs.

The changes are due to the return of a certain tax on electricity (the Taxe intérieure de consommation finale sur l’électricité, or TICFE).

Read more: SEE: Most French electricity bills to rise by 9.8% in February

Motorway tolls to go up

Péage (motorway tolls) across France are set to rise on February 1.

Overall they are rising by 2.93%, however in practice each motorway company is rising their prices by a separate amount, which you can find below:

  • Vinci: 2.70%
  • Sanef: 2.79%
  • SAPN: 3.08%
  • APRR: 3.02%
  • Area: 3.04%
  • Millau Viaduct: 5.83%

Pension increases

French pensions will go up by an average of 5.3% in February, with money at this new rate beginning to arrive in bank accounts from February 9.

Other pension-style payments also set to rise by 5.3% include:

  • La pension de réversion
  • L’allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées (Aspa) (France’s pension top-up benefit you can read more about here)
  • L’allocation veuvage
  • L’allocation de solidarité aux vieux travailleurs salariés
  • Du secours viager
  • L’allocation aux mères de famille

Rules for some benefits change

Recipients of the revenu de solidarité active (RSA) and prime d’activite benefits will now need to declare the montant net social figure, found at the bottom of payslips, to receive the payments.

This figure is calculated by the employer and takes into account the deductions made for social security and other charges. Previously, recipients had to calculate this figure themselves.

RSA is a government aid aimed at unemployed and underemployed people to encourage them to find work or increased income.

Savings account interest rates drop

The interest rate for the state-regulated LEP (livret d’épargne populaire) savings accounts, for those with a lower income, will see interest levels drop from 6% to 5% in February.

The ability to open one of these accounts is tied to your household income (revenu fiscal de référence). For a single person in 2024, this is €22,419 (based on 2022 income).

Other state-regulated (and tax-free) savings accounts such as the Livret A and Livret de Développement Durable will see their interest rates remain at 3%.

Read more: Livret A savings: Why are they so popular? How do I open an account?

Simplified credit payments for inheritance tax

People who have difficulty paying tax due on an inheritance can now benefit from a simplified payment credit system that allows them to split or defer paying the tax.

New rules coming into force on February 1 mean inheritors will be able to request this credit and receive a response within two months - previously, this took four months.

They then have four – instead of two – months to put together a dossier de garanties showing how the tax will be paid. The period to offer additional guarantees (if needed) after receiving the inheritance has also been increased from one month to two.

Interest is due on the payment, however, which last year was at 1.7% (2024's rates have not yet been announced).

Clearer rules for online marketplaces

The European Digital Service Act, which comes into force on February 17, sees tighter regulations for online marketplaces.

It includes websites needing to state terms and conditions clearly, clarify their moderation rules, take action against illegal content and refrain from using targeted advertising.

In the background, clearer rules on how these websites can use algorithms (for advertising, etc) will also begin on the same date.

Cigarette price increase

Some tobacco products will see price increases from February 1, including Dunhill cigarettes, that will increase to €12.50 per packet.

The cost of some brands of rolling tobacco, cigars, and cigarillos will increase, by between €0.10 and €1 per packet.

A full list of all products affected can be found here.

Related articles

Pancakes, French school holidays: key February dates for your diary

20 changes for residents in France