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How to save money in France on electrical repairs

The Local France
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How to save money in France on electrical repairs
(Photo by Christophe ARCHAMBAULT / AFP)

Consumers in France can claim flat-rate discounts on repairs for a range of electrical items - including phones and laptops - if they go to registered repair professionals. Here's how it works.

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France has put up €410 million to help householders cut the cost of repairing white goods and other electrical appliances in a bid to reduce waste and control the cost of living.

Currently, an estimated 90 percent of white goods and small electrical appliances are replaced when they break down, rather than repaired.

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In 2022, France launched the ‘bonus réparation’, which is intended to help with the cost of repairs to dozens of household appliances that are no longer under warranty, including coffee machines, washing machines or laptops. It remains available to households across the country.

The goal is that this scheme will increase the number of devices that are repaired by 20 percent, from 10 million to 12 million annually, by 2027.

What's new in 2024?

Starting next year, a total of 73 products will be eligible, with help ranging from €15 to €60. Many bonus amounts will be increased, with five everyday devices seeing the bonus at least doubled. As such, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers can get €50 in the bonus, rather than €25. Television screens will be eligible for €60, instead of €30, and vacuums, which once only got €15 in aid, will benefit from up to €40.

Many others will benefit from an additional €5. This means that the repair bonus for a laptop would go up from €45 to €50, and ovens and stoves will now be eligible for €25 instead of €20. Devices like coffee machines and kettles will qualify for €15, up from €10.

Mobiles phones also qualify for €25 towards repairing a smashed screen. 

The French government also plans to make 24 more electronic goods (ex. humidifiers, printers, hair dryers, etc) eligible for the bonus, as well as adding a new criterion of 'accidental breakage'. You can find the full list of new items to be covered here.

Certain remote repairs will also be possible, though most software fixes will still not be qualify.

Similarly, damage incurred due to defects, which ought to be covered by legal guarantees, will remain ineligible for the bonus. Also, any damage that does not affect the device's functioning (ie small scratches) would not be covered.

The 'repair bonus' also does not help consumers with the purchase of new accessories. 

In November 2023, the French government also launched a new repair bonus for clothing and shoes, intended to help decrease textile waste. 

READ MORE: How France's clothes and shoes repair bonus works

How to benefit

In order to benefit from the repair bonus, log on to the ecosystem.eco website to find a registered nearby repair service. Any discount will be automatically deducted from the invoice.

Keep in mind that the item must have a nameplate or identification (IMEI number), and if the total repair bill (including VAT) ends up less than the amount of the bonus then you will not be eligible for the bonus.

Some items also have a threshold of repairs to trigger the bonus, like laptops. In this case, the total repair bill will need to be at least €150 in 2024 (a decrease €180 in 2023).

The work must be carried out by a professional who has been awarded the QualiRépar mark. You can find the list on the Ecosystem website.

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As of 2022, only 500 professionals across France had been awarded the QualiRépar mark, but there has been an effort to expand the qualification to more workers.

The government has also added a 'repairability index', which can be seen on devices like vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and high-pressure cleaners. It rates them out of 10 to show how easily and cost-effectively they could be repaired.

The idea behind the index is to convince consumers to buy products that can be repaired, thus increasing their lifespan and cutting down on waste.

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