Stay up to date: 13 changes and updates for everyday life in France

Property taxes, gas bills, medicine fees, airline hand luggage, fibre internet and more

See how you may be affected - or will be - in our practical news roundup
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2024 Taxe foncière rates

Many local authorities will vote in March on their percentage rates for the local property tax, taxe foncière.

Increases will vary depending on where in France your property is.

Read more: French property taxes set to rise: when will you know the amount?

This tax is based on half of your property’s VLC, a theoretical annual rental value, multiplied by the local rate.

VLCs rise each year in relation to the consumer price index, which came to 7.1% in 2023 and is 3.9% in 2024.

So, unless your council lowers its rate, which is unusual, your bill will rise by at least this much.

Communes have until April 15 to set – and vote on – rates.

Read more: Taxe foncière explainer: Who pays and the exemptions

Will gas bills rise?

An expected hike in household gas prices in July might not happen, say ministers.

A rise was expected, linked to an increase in the tariff charged by gas distributor GRDF (Gaz Réseau Distribution France) to energy companies for use of the network.

The latest estimate for the rise is 5.5% for those who heat with gas (an annual increase around €88) and 10.4% (roughly a €26 per year increase) for those who use gas to cook and heat water.

The Economy Ministry, however, predicts that bills will in reality “remain stable” thanks to a drop in the price of gas on the world markets between now and the summer.

Crit’air U-turn

Crit’Air level 3 vehicles – including petrol cars registered before January 1, 2006, and diesel cars registered before January 1, 2011 – will no longer be banned in low-emission zones in Marseille from January 1, 2025.

This is to be “more tolerant” of drivers who cannot afford to change their cars in time.

Similar U-turns have been announced in Rouen and Strasbourg, where air pollution levels are below the regulatory limit.

Read more: 2024 MAP: Where are low emission zones in France and what are rules?

Rent cap change

The current cap on rent increases set last summer at 3.5% is to finish at the end of

April. A new calculation will set the maximum rent percentage rise and it is expected to be around 4.1%.

Medicines cost more

The franchise médicale to be paid on prescribed medication and certain treatments is doubling from €0.50 to €1 from March 31.

It is paid by the patient and not reimbursed, to a maximum of €50 per year.

The new cost will not apply to those who need regular medication or treatment, and those who already hit the €50 cap.

Read more: Medicines in France will cost patients more from spring

Read more: Plans to raise GP doctor fees to €30 a visit in France

Inheritance tax simplification

A simplified payment credit system for taxes due on an inheritance is now available, you can read more about this in page 33 of our March print/digital edition.

Energy cheque confusion

An estimated one million households will not receive the energy cheque they are entitled

to, because of ‘technical reasons’, the government has said.

If you do not receive it by the end of May but believe you are eligible, you will need to apply online.

The service to do this will be live by the end of May.

Read more: New energy cheque in France: you may need to apply this year

The energy cheque is worth from €48 to €277 and households in the lower 20% of income are eligible.

There is a simulator to check if you qualify you can find here.

Internet deadline

Some 200,000 households in 162 communes must switch to fibre, mobile or satellite internet by January 31, 2025, replacing their old copper wires.

A further 829 communes will be affected from January 27, 2026, and then 2,000 more by January 31, 2027.

The whole of France will see copper wires replaced by the end of the decade.

Orange will deactivate landline connections on the announced dates, meaning that those who do not have fibre, 4G, 5G or satellite will be without a landline phone or internet connection.

You can enter your postcode here on Orange’s website to see if you are affected.

Read more: Millions must switch to fibre as landlines phased out in France

EV scheme paused

The €100-per-month electric car rental scheme has been paused for 2024 due to high demand.

In just two months, 50,000 orders were approved, well above the planned 20,000-25,000 for the year.

It will reopen in 2025.

Read more: €100-a-month electric car scheme closed for 2024 due to demand

Hand luggage fee

Low-cost airline Transavia is to start charging €15 for hand luggage under 10kg from April 3.

This is more restrictive than rivals easyJet and Ryanair, but the fee might be overturned

because of a European Court of Justice ruling that “hand luggage is essential for travellers” and so cannot be subject to additional fees.

SUV parking rise

Parisians have voted in favour of trebling parking fees for SUVs for visitors.

This would also impact locals parking their SUV outside of their usual parking spot in other areas of the city.

The Conseil de Paris will decide whether to adopt the measure in May. If accepted, it will begin in September.

Read more: Parisians vote to triple parking fees for visitors in SUVs

Lyon will start charging vehicles over 1.5 tonnes, ie. SUVs, three times more than lighter vehicles from June.

Marseille has made a reverse pledge that no extra fees will be charged for SUVs there.

Read more: Lyon to base parking fees on weight of car and driver income

Glass bottle scheme returns

Supermarkets including Leclerc and Système U have reintroduced a scheme that lets customers return glass bottles to receive back a deposit, as was common in the 1970s.

The consigne system had more or less disappeared until recently.

The new initiative began in Île-de-France in February. Customers bring their bottles to a machine in the supermarkets and deposit them one by one.

The bottles will be cleaned and reused.

Read more: Glass bottle return system returns to Paris supermarkets

Smoking costs more

The average price of a packet of cigarettes has now passed the €12 mark, compared to €11 in 2023.

The most expensive cigarettes, such as a pack of 20 Marlboro Red, now cost around €12.50 a packet, while a pack of Lucky Strike Blue will set you back around €11.50.

The cost of some brands of rolling tobacco, cigars and cigarillos have also increased,

by between €0.10 and €1.

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20 changes in France from January 1, 2024