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LIVING IN FRANCE

Everything that changes in France from December 2017

As ever the start of every new month brings with it some small but significant changes to life in France. Here's a look at what changes in December 2017.

Everything that changes in France from December 2017
Photo: AFP

Cut price TGV trains from Montparnasse

From December 10th the low cost TGV service “Ouigo” will operate from Gare Montparnasse in the heart of Paris, where as previously the nearest station to Paris where you could jump on a Ouigo was Massy-TGV to the east or Charles-de-Gaulle airport.

However you will pay a little more for the luxury of not having to travel outside Paris to get the train, with fares slightly higher than the usual Ouigo tickets.Tickets for adults start from €16 one way rather than €10 and for children the fixed price is €8, slightly higher than the usual €5. Tickets are already on sale via the website.

Ouigo trains will operate to towns in the the west and south west including Bordeaux, Angers, Angouleme, Nantes, Rennes and Poitiers. 

The difference between Ouigo trains and normal TGVs is that there is only one class, so the equivalent second class. And there is no bar. On top of that you will have to pay to bring extra baggage.

You'll need to arrive 30 minutes before departure time, tickets are non-refundable and changes to reservations cost €10.

Joon, the semi-low-cost Air France airline takes to skies

Air France releases tickets for new 'millenials' airline Joon

The new airline Joon, operated by Air France, will take off on Friday December 1st. The first flight operated by the company that markets itself as in between a low-cost airline and a flagship carrier like Air France, will take off from Paris bound for Barcelona.

Apart from Barcelona, Joon will operate flights to Lisbon, Porto and Berlin from Charles-de-Gaulle airport. Tickets start from €49 one way. In 2018 Joon will operate long haul flights to Fortaleza in Brazil and the Seychelles.

The airline is marketing itself towards millennials. For more information click here.

Obligatory registration for Airbnb rentals in Paris

Paris rolls out tough new rule on Airbnb rentals

As of December 1st, it will no longer be possible to rent out a Paris property on an online rental platform without it first being registered with the authorities.

Landlords have been able to register their properties with the Paris authorities since October 1st and from December 1st registration is obligatory.
 
This will affect several popular sites including Airbnb, Homelidays and Abritel, with all listings required to display a registration number. Paris City Hall says some 10,000 properties have already been registered.
 
Anyone who rents out their main residence, even for a few days risks a €450 fine. But the fines can reach €50,000 for those who rent out a secondary residence without permission from the Town Hall.
 

Games become more expensive

This is not a law change but a fact of life according to consumer group UFC Que-Choisir and it's bad news for anyone who hasn't bought their Christmas presents.

They have noticed how the price of games shoots up in December as Christmas approaches. After falling in the months of October and November the price rise is obviously linked to Christmas and will keep rising the nearer the big day comes. So get to the shops!

Obligatory Crit'Air car stickers rolled out in Annecy and Toulouse

From December onwards anyone driving in Annecy and Toulouse will have to display a Crit'Air sticker on their car. The anti-pollution stickers, which show how old/polluting your car is have already become obligatory in Paris but Annecy and Toulouse are among several French towns following the lead.

Gas prices

Almost every month there is a change to gas prices in France. And for the third consecutive month gas prices from the main provider Engie are on the rise. The hike will work out at an average of 0.97 percent compared to November, depending on how much you use.

While prices are on the rise, they have actually fallen by some 16.6 percent since the beginning of 2014.

You will still have to pay up front to see the doctor

From December 1st, France was meant to end the system where patients pay up front for a visit to the doctor. However the new government has postponed the reform, meaning doctors can still ask for all or part of the payment up front.

However some patients won't have to pay up front including pregnant women and those with long-term illnesses.

As for ending the system of payments, the government is still deciding the best plan of action and will release a report in March.

Last chance to change you tax declaration

Tax payers in France have until December 19th to make an ammendment on their tax declarations if they fear they have made a msitake. After that date you will pay the penalty.

 

LIVING IN FRANCE

Property bargains, energy prices, and myth-busting: 6 essential articles for life in France

Where you could bag a property bargain in France, how energy prices aren’t soaring in France, and why the leaves are falling earlier than usual - plus a couple of myths well and truly busted - here are six essential articles for life in France.

Property bargains, energy prices, and myth-busting: 6 essential articles for life in France

While French cities such as Paris are notoriously expensive, there are many areas outside the cities where it is still possible to buy spacious homes for less than €100,000 – particularly if you don’t mind a bit of renovation.

MAP: Where in France can you buy property for less than €100k?

Speaking of property – here’s some potential good news for some second-home owners; the French government has put in place a new online process for regular visitors in France to get a carte de séjour – here’s who is eligible for this and how to apply.

Can second-home owners in France get a carte de séjour?

Reasons to be cheerful about living in France: as energy prices soar around Europe, France is the notable exception where most people have seen no significant rise in their gas or electricity bills – so what lies behind this policy?

And no, it’s not because the French would riot if their bills exploded, or not entirely, anyway.

EXPLAINED: Why are French energy prices capped?

It might look like autumn outside in certain parts of France, but it certainly feels like summer.

So, why are the leaves falling from the trees? And what does that mean for your garden?

Reader question: Why are the leaves falling in summer and does that mean my garden is dead?

The Da Vinci Code starts here – with the legend of a penniless priest who once stumbled upon gold hidden in the French countryside. It’s a story that still inspires treasure-hunters.

We look deeper into the myth – and help you decide if you should stock up on a shovel and a metal detector.

French history myths: There is buried treasure in Rennes-le-Château

Speaking of myths, apparently, kids and long train journeys do mix…

Hoping to do his bit for the planet, perhaps save some money and avoid spending any time at Charles de Gaulle airport, The Local’s Europe editor Ben McPartland decided to travel 2,000km with his family from Paris to southern Portugal by train rather than plane.

Here’s what he had to say about the experience.

Yes, train travel from France across Europe is far better than flying – even with kids

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