Overall I have found that the costs of living in France are less than back in the UK and when the exchange rate is 1.3 EUROS to the £GBP significantly so. In addition, the French authorities are very lenient when it comes to holiday rental income. They do have an enviable health service and the costs of this have to be paid for so your overall costs depend on whether you have health cover paid for by your UK social contributions or you need to pay yourself in one of the several ways that are possible. There are numerous web sites available to help you calculate what your circumstances will be but, I provide below some information based on my own experiences and I will do what I can to help you unravel the French systems.

PROPERTY TAXES - There are two taxes as follows:

Tax Fonciere is paid by the property owner and is based on the size of the accommodation, buildings and facilities like the pool and is not related to the number of people who live at the property. I pay 2700€ per year because the property is so large.

Tax Habitation is paid by the person who actually lives at a property and is based on the number of people living at the property. in the past I have paid 877€ per year as there is only me currently in residence. If my income after allowable deductions drops below a certain level, my Habitation tax drops to zero. Also, this tax is now being phased out and no signs as yet of it being replaced by something new. In 2018 I paid zero Tax Habitation.

The two taxes pay to provide local services like waste collection, road maintenance and street lighting and also local council facilities like schools.

Generally I have found that what I pay in France is less than what I was paying for UK Council Tax in Berkshire despite me having probably 4 times the size of property.


Interestingly the tax on holiday rental income is treated very generously. You only pay income tax on 29% of the gross income if you choose the same regime I am on; Micro-Bic. I can help you to navigate the choices. Social taxes are paid on 100% of gross income from holiday rental but the social tax rate is less than income tax.

You do have to become professionally registered (very easy) to run a holiday rental business and this costs me around 489€ per year.


All depends on your own income but generally I have found that my income & social tax bill is encouragingly less than I would be paying in the UK. Pension income and lump sums are taxed very generously.



I have business insurance to cover the usual buildings and contents risks and also to provide additional protection for running the Gites. The company GENERALI has a local office in Saintes (30 mins) with good English speaking staff. Cost in 2019 for my policy is 71€ per month. The company was recommended to me by other Gite owners in the area and my experience has been good.


Access to the excellent French health service depends very much on your own circumstances and I recommend that you research this on the internet.

You can also take out top up insurance to pay for the proportion of costs that are not covered by the state system. Many people don't bother as the costs are not great and in most circumstances are less than the annual subscription. Its really a matter of whether you are happy to pay for peace of mind to be covered no matter what. Typical costs  for top up in you 60's are around 100€ per month and less if you are younger.

If you have any questions after looking on the internet I will certainly do my best to help.


This depends very much on how much of the overall cost of running a property this size you wish to apportion to generating the holiday rental gross income.

For example, are you running the swimming pool just for the paying guests or do you get benefit from it yourself? Are you maintaining the grounds just for the Gites or would you do it anyway?

Annual costs are also very much dependent on how much you want to do yourselves and how much you call in professional to do.

As a rule of thumb, as I do as much as possible of the work myself, I expect my annual running costs to be around 2500€ per year.

The largest costs are for the pool, electricity and fuel for grounds maintenance - not surprising given the size of the grounds!


I run two second hand cars and generally my experience of the French costs has been very positive. You pay an initial charge around 200€ to obtain your registration document and, after that, there is no annual road tax to pay. Insurance I have found is generally cheaper than in the UK. I guess this is because theft in the French countryside is virtually non existent and the roads are so much quieter – a delight to drive if you are not in a major city. But, car taxation is evolving with pollution issues and I suggest you read here.

Tony Dearsley - Charente Maritime, France. email is always monitored

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