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French PM lays out plan to help drivers save money

As fuel costs continue to rise French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced that the government will increase financial help for people who drive for work.

A French fuel meter shows the tank to be less than half full.
The French government is seeking to increase the amount of compensation that French drivers can receive to cover work-related fuel costs. (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP)

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Tuesday that the government will seek to increase the amount of that drivers can reimbursed for work-related travel. 

Under a scheme known as the indemnité kilométrique, drivers who travel for work can deduct a certain amount from their taxable income in their tax return each year. To benefit, drivers need to renounce their right to a système forfaitaire de base in which 10 percent of their transport costs are automatically deducted from the tax bill. 

The indemnité kilométrique option is most cost effective if you drive a long distance as part of your work each year – the policy jargon for this kind of person is a gros rouleur

The amount paid out via the indemnité kilométrique scheme is calculated taking various factors into account including distance and the type of engine used. A minority of French households, some 2.5 million people, currently benefit from this scheme.  

The money can be used to pay off insurance, fuel and maintenance costs. It applies to car and motorbike drivers. The current amount paid out to car drivers is detailed below: 

Source: service-public.fr

According to current guidelines, someone travelling 4,000km per year in a car with a six horsepower engine would be eligible for reimbursement worth €2,296 (4,000km x 0.574). If you use an electric vehicle, this amount would increase by a further 20 percent. 

To see how much money you could save using the indemnité kilométrique scheme, you can use this simulator

The government wants to increase the amount paid out by 10 percent to help offset rising fuel costs. The move will cost the French state some €400 million. 

“The effect will be fast and direct as soon as the income tax declarations for 2021 are made,” tweeted Castex

The prime minister told the Assemblée nationale on Tuesday that the measure targeted “our citizens that drive a lot, those for whom vehicles are, at the end of the day, necessary for working or looking for jobs,” citing nurses in rural areas as an example. 

He said the decision to increase compensation would be made official by a decree this week. 

Employer payments

Employees in France are entitled to other forms of reimbursement too. 

Full-time workers in the private sector have the right to ask their employer for 50 percent of public transport costs (second-class, shortest journey) to be reimbursed. The same goes for workers in the public sector. 

You are also entitled to have public transport costs reimbursed if you are a part-time worker or intern in France – although the amount depends on how many hours you work per week. 

Reimbursement for public transport costs from your employer can only cover transport subscriptions (such as a Navigo pass) – not individual journeys. 

You can also apply to have personal vehicle costs reimbursed by your employer if your company has a collective agreement between the management and unions. 

If this is the case, you may be eligible for reimbursement if:

  • You live outside of Ile-de-France and in an area not covered by public transport
  • Or you work hours during which public transport doesn’t function

Public sector workers can have €100-200 in personal vehicle costs covered by their employer every year. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Everything you need to know about travel to France from within the EU

After two years of limited travel many people are planning a holiday this year and France is a popular destination - but it's easy to lose track of the latest travel rules. Here's what you need to know if you are coming to France from a country that is within the EU or Schengen zone.

Everything you need to know about travel to France from within the EU

Restrictions

France operates a ‘traffic light’ system that has been in place since summer 2020, assigning countries a colour based on their Covid infection rates.

These days most of the world is green – the lightest level of restriction – including all the countries in the EU and Schengen zone. Find full details on the government website here.

Map: French interior ministry

Vaccinated – if you are fully vaccinated according to the French definition (see below) and travelling from a green zone country all you need to show at the border is proof of vaccination. There is no requirement for extra paperwork such as passenger locator forms or health declarations and no Covid tests needed. Once in France you are not required to quarantine.

Unvaccinated – if you are not fully vaccinated according to the French definition (see below) you will need to show a negative Covid test at the border. The test can be either a PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours or an antigen test taken within the previous 48 hours. Once in France you are not required to quarantine.

Fully vaccinated – in order to qualify as ‘fully vaccinated’ you must be vaccinated with an EMA approved vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Astra-Zeneca or Janssen) and must be at least 7 days after your final dose (or 28 days after in the case of Janssen). If you had your vaccine more than nine months ago, you will need a booster shot in order to still be classificed as ‘fully vaccinated’ if you are aged 18 and over.

Anyone vaccinated within the EU/Schengen zone will have the EU digital vaccine pass, but vaccination certificates issued outside the EU are also accepted at the French border. 

Children – The rules on vaccination apply to all children aged 12 and over. Under 12s do not need to supply proof of vaccination at the border. Children aged between 12 and 18 do not need a booster shot, even if their vaccine took place more than nine months ago.

The above rules apply to all EU and Schengen zone countries – if you are travelling from the UK click HERE, click HERE for travel from the USA and HERE for travel from other non-EU countries.

In France

So you’ve made it into France, but what are the rules once you are here?

On May 16th, France ended the mask requirement for public transport, representing one of the last Covid restrictions still in place.

Masks – masks are now only compulsory in health establishments, although they remain recommended on public transport. They are not required in other indoor spaces such as shops, bars, restaurants and tourist sites, although private businesses retain the legal right to make mask-wearing a condition of entry.

Health pass – the health pass was suspended in March and is no longer required to enter venues such as bars, restaurants and tourist sites. It is still required to enter establishements with vulnerable residents such as nursing homes. In this case it is a health pass not a vaccine pass – so unvaccinated people can present a recent negative Covid test.

Hygiene gestures – the government still recommends the practice of hygiene gestures such as hand-washing/gel and social distancing although this is a recommendation and not a rule.

Self-isolation – if you test positive for Covid while in France you are legally required to self isolate – full details HERE.

READ ALSO How tourists and visitors to France can get a Covid test

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