1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Do as much leg work and preparation before the move as you possibly can. The more time spent preparing, the easier the actual move will be. The French administration system is well known to be bureaucratic. A good tip is to ensure you have the following documents to hand in preparation for this:
European health insurance card
Private health insurance documents
Tax returns for previous two years
Car registration and insurance documents
Any medical documentation (eg children’s vaccination documents)
2. Investing in bricks and mortar
Acquiring your ideal property abroad is an exciting endeavour. A lot of preparation and research is again key to consider all factors. Purchasing a property in a different country is no mean feat and as such many expats rent a property first.
Renting in the area you are interested in first is a good way of assessing its suitability and getting a real feel of what the place and its amenities are like.
As an approximate indication; the buying process in France can take up to three months.
3. Have your finances in order
Having a French bank account is a pre-requisite for many things in France. Any accounts with utility companies, home insurance etc all require French bank accounts. Again this can be arranged prior to the move. There are various banks that will be able to offer you the appropriate services. In particular, Credit Agricole Britline offer French banking services to English speakers. See here for further information: https://www.britline.com/
4. Leave it to the professionals
When it comes to the move itself, don’t underestimate the scale and intricacies of the logistics. For a smooth move, call in the experts. Find a removal company who is well experienced in moves to France, reputable and able to give you a realistic quotation. Be cautious of companies that are willing to quote over the phone. A good removal company will send out a surveyor to properly assess the volume of effects that need to be moved