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What prices will rise in France in 2024?

The Local France
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What prices will rise in France in 2024?
A man withdraws money from an ATM. (Photo by PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP)

From food to fuel, medical costs to property taxes and stamps - here's how prices will rise in France in 2024, and how much to budget for daily life.

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Compared to many of its neighbours, France has been relatively shielded from the soaring inflation seen across Europe since 2022 - mostly thanks to government initiatives such as capping gas and electricity prices - although the country has struggled with food price inflation. 

However, while French consumers did escape the worst effects of inflation in 2022, they continued to see rising prices through 2023.

Consumer specialist, Rodolphe Bonnasse, told Econostrum in October that “in France, it works both ways. At the beginning, things go a little less badly and evolve less quickly in France, but in the end it is a little more complicated".

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In good news, however, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told the French press: “I think that the year 2024 will be better than the year 2023 [which] was very hard for our compatriots with inflation and rising prices.

"I am convinced that in 2024, prices will fall a little faster and that things will get better,” the finance minister said.

Even though the minister confidently predicted that the "inflationary crisis is behind us" and that inflation would fall to 2.6 percent in 2024”, many parts of life in France are still likely to get a bit more expensive in the new year. 

Here is what you can expect when budgeting for 2024 in France:

READ MORE: What changes about life in France in 2024

Food

Food prices in France have been strongly affected by inflation, although that appears to be declining. According to Le Maire, food inflation (year-on-year) fell to 7.7 percent in October 2023, compared to 9.7 percent in September and 15.9 percent in March.

In August, Le Maire also announced that he had reached a deal with supermarkets and manufacturers to freeze the prices of at least 5,000 items, meaning prices "would not increase" at the start of 2024, according to 20 Minutes. 

According to Franceinfo, a 'panier' or basket of 37 everyday food and hygiene products cost an average of €108.51 in November 2023, €1.10 less than the previous month.

The boss of the Leclerc supermarket chain said: "We're going to break the spiral of inflation, bring it down to just two percent in 2024". He added that consumers would notice prices falling "as early as January or February".

Costs differed by region, with groceries least expensive in western France and most expensive in the capital region and the south-east. You can see an interactive map by Franceinfo with average 'panier' costs here.

Naturally, this will have a knock-on effect on prices in restaurants and cafés.

Electricity and Gas

French householders were largely protected by the 'price shield' from the soaring energy prices seen across Europe after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

However this is gradually being phased out before it will end entirely on January 1st 2015.

Electricity prices rose on February 1st - with an increase of 8.6 percent for those on basic rate plans (which most households are on), and up by 9.8 percent for those who use ‘peak-off-peak’ (tarifs heures pleines-heures creuses) plans.

This means that in 2024 French households will pay around €100 more per year for electricity. 

You can also use this simulator from BFMTV to estimate how much your bill will increase by, as costs differ based on surface area, the number of people living there, as well as consumption levels.

As for gas, the head of France’s energy regulation commission (Commission de Régulation de l’Energie, or CRE), Emmanuelle Wargon, announced that prices would rise by 5.5 to 10.4 percent in July 2024.

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A 5.5 percent increase would mean an extra €7.30 per month for the average customer that uses gas to heat their home. This would represent an increase of €87.60 per year. 

For those using gas only for hot water and/or cooking, the increase would be closer to 10.4 percent, equal to €2.20 per month. This would represent an increase of €26.40 per year.

Stamps

The cost of a single stamp will rise from €1.16 to €1.29 in 2024.

Healthcare

Following demands from doctors, the cost of a GP appointment rose by €1.50 in November, and the new rate will remain in 2024. For 'category 1' doctors - that is, doctors who charge the government-agreed amount (which is most of them), general practitioner appointments are now €26.50. 

For a specialist, it's €31.50, and for 'complex' consultations with a specialist, the rate is €47.50 - you can find examples of which consultations count as 'complex' here.

Around 70 percent of this is reimbursed by the State via the carte vitale, and the rest can be paid by the optional top-up insurance known as mutuelles

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The yearly prices for mutuelles is predicted to rise on average by eight percent in 2024 - currently the average price for a family of two adults and two children is €1,172 a year, meaning a monthly expenditure of approximately €98. For employees, their company must pay half.

Other types of insurance, like car and home insurance, were also expected to go up - by four to five percent and six to seven percent respectively. 

Driving

Prices for petrol and diesel remain high in France but TotalEnergies, the oil and gas giant that operates a third of France's service stations, has promised to keep in place its €1.99 fuel price limit throughout 2024. 

As of mid-November, a litre of SP-98 cost an average of €1.93. As for SP-95, the average was €1.89 and E10 was €1.86.

Prices have decreased slightly over 2023 - you can keep up with fuel costs in real time in France using the government map: here.

If you own a car, you need a contrôle technique vehicle inspection every two years. The average cost as of 2023 was around €78. Luckily, there are ways to save money on the inspection, and costs differ based on location.

After several delays, France is also expected to finally introduce a vehicle safety test for motorbikes and scooters starting in April 2024. 

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Depending on where you live, the cost of getting your vehicle registered documents is set to increase as regional authorities hike their portion of the fees for your legally required carte grise.

In Ile-de-France, the price of a tax-registered vehicle will rise by 19 percent, from €46.15 to €54.95 euros. Normandy will increase taxes by 30 percent, raising the price to to €46. A 10 percent increase is also envisaged in Centre-Val-de-Loire, where motorists have paid €49.80 for the past 10 years. Drivers in Brittany already pay the highest price for the document, €55.

Other regions, such as Pays de la Loire, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Hauts-de-France, Bretagne and Occitanie, have already increased fees.

The annual increase for tolls on France's autoroutes has been confirmed at an average increase of three percent - toll charges for the Mont Blanc and Fréjus tunnels will rise by 3.23 percent and 8.87 percent respectively, while the rest of France's motorway network will see rises at or just below three percent. 

READ MORE: What are the most expensive autoroutes in France you might want to avoid?

While France has scrapped several measures intended to help households cope with high fuel costs, the government was set to maintain a one-off means-tested payment of €100 is available for motorists on a low income who need their car for work. 

Public transport and trains

For those getting around by public transportation, prices are also poised to rise.

For those in the Paris region, the monthly cost of a Navigo pass will increase to €86.30 from January 1st. However, anyone who has paid their annual bill upfront will not see any increase until their subscription runs out. 

Also in Paris - the cost of Metro/bus/tram tickets will double while the Olympics and Paralympics are on (July 28th to September 8th) - although this will not affect residents who have a monthly pass or subscription, or anyone who buys their tickets in advance. 

READ MORE: How Paris residents can avoid public transport price hikes during 2024 Olympics

As far as flights are concerned, the 2024 budget contains a proposal to increase the tax on plane tickets from its current modest €3-€18 per flight, although the final amounts have so far not been confirmed. 

Train ticket prices - for Intercités (classic, non-high speed lines connecting cities) and Ouigo (the low-cost high speed rail service) trains will not increase in price next year.

As for InOui TGV services, ticket prices are expected to rise in 2024, but "not past the level of inflation", the head of SNCF told BFMTV in mid-December. 

France also intends to introduce its own version of the German €49-a-month train ticket in 2024, hopefully by the summer. This would allow users to have unlimited use of TER and Intercités trains, and would be similarly priced to the German plan.

Cigarettes

As part of the government's long-term anti-smoking plan which includes gradually raising the price of tobacco, the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes will reach the €12 mark in 2024. Other measures include smoke-free zones on beaches and outside schools. 

Renting property

Naturally this varies greatly based on where you live in France with Paris remaining the most expensive area. As of November 2023, the average cost per square metre of a furnished, 1-bedroom apartment was €35.50 in France's capital city. This means that a one-bedroom of 35 square metres would cost about €1,242 per month.

Paris is well-above national levels - in contrast, the average price in France per  square metre was €15.50 for a one-bedroom apartment.

In Clermont-Ferrand, one of France's most affordable towns, the average price was €11.80 per square metre, according to French property site SeLoger.

Cities including Paris, Lille, Lyon, Bordeaux and Montpellier are all considered to be 'zones tendues', meaning there is a housing shortage. These areas can apply rent controls, and you can find the list of relevant cities and towns here.

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This rent control scheme is set to remain in place until at least July 2024. When it comes to Paris, you can even see the rent controls based on arrondissement using this interactive map.

There are also strict limits on how much your landlord can increase your rent - you can simulate how much yours might increase by in 2024 using this calculator.

Buying property

Interest rates in France have quadrupled over the past two years. In August, average mortgage rates were 3.62 percent, which increased to 3.73 percent in September and up to 4.12 percent in October, according to Franceinfo.

As such, many would-be buyers have struggled to access credit in 2023 - experts predict that this will change in 2024 and rates will begin to fall.

READ ALSO What to expect from the French property market in 2024

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Property taxes

All property-owners across France saw a 7.1 percent increase in their taxe foncière 2023 due to inflation, and this is set to rise again in 2024 by at least 3.9 percent. However, local authorities also have the power to increase the rates further - up to a maximum of 60 percent.

In 2022, according to the finance specialists Moneyvox, the average annual taxe foncière bill was €895 (or €74 a month if you opt to pay monthly).

Second-home owners will also pay taxe d'habitation - in 2022, the average bill was €772 per year. 

Local authorities in zones tendues also have the power to impose a surcharge on taxe d'habitation for second-homes of up to 60 percent, which could increase your bill by several hundred euro in 2024 if applied. You can find out if an area is considered to have a housing shortage here.

Salary

The French minimum wage, known as the SMIC, will rise by 1.13 percent in January 1st - bringing it up to €1,766.92 per month gross or €1,398.69 net.

TV and streaming

Streaming subscriptions were also poised to be higher in 2024. Disney +, like Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV, raised their prices in November 2023. This means that a simple package went from €8.99 per month to €11.99.

. . . And some good news

The 'repair bonus' is expanded into new areas with amounts raised in 2024. This is part of the government's anti-waste laws and offers money off the cost of getting an item repaired, rather than throwing it away.

It covers electronic items, clothes and shoes - new for 2024 is €25 towards getting a smashed phone screen repaired or €50 for a laptop screen. 

READ MORE: How to save money in France on electrical repairs

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