For members


Reader Question: Can you use a French disabled parking badge in the UK and vice versa?

If you're a disabled driver planning a trip, here's what you need to know about using your parking badge abroad, plus how France's badge is changing.

Reader Question: Can you use a French disabled parking badge in the UK and vice versa?
Disabled motorists in France can use their CMI permits in any EU / EEA state. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP)

France’s carte mobilité inclusion (CMI) system allows free and unlimited use of all parking spaces open to the public. Holders can use the card whether they are the driver of a car or its passenger. 

The duration of parking can be limited by decision of the town hall beyond a statutory minimum of 12 hours.

In addition to a CMI specifically for parking, people can apply for a disability or priority CMI, depending on their degree of disability, which can be used to avoid queues or request assistance.

I have an old-style card. Is it still valid?

France’s CMI replaces the old carte européenne de stationnement. Current cards are valid to their expiry date, or until midnight on December 31st, 2026. But holders of the old-style cards in France can apply for a newer CMI at any time.

The French government has said that these newer cards meet the requirements of existing EU disability parking cards, so should be used in the same manner – which means you can use your badge in all EU member states, plus Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

I’m not French – am I entitled to a French card?

Yes, disabled people are entitled to a card, as long as you are a citizen of an EU or EEA Member State, or have proof of legal residency in France, such as a titre de séjour.

What about using badges issued in the UK in France?

Post-Brexit, the UK is no longer part of the EU Disabled Parking Card scheme. While the UK government has informal agreements with some EU and EEA countries to continue recognising British-issued disabled parking badges, France is not one of those countries.

The UK Blue Badge scheme remains compliant with the EU system, which leaves it in something of a legal grey area. One workaround, suggested by the British government, is to print out and display the below French-language notice alongside your blue badge during your travels in France. You can find the printable version of it here.

But the British government also warned that a British-issued Blue Badge “may not be recognised”, and holders should “check locally before parking”.

For travellers with British or other non-EU/EEA issued disabled parking cards, complementary notices, similar to the French-language one, are available on the British government’s website here

And what about using the French card in the UK?

The UK has said it will continue the mutual recognition of the EU disabled parking card for visitors to the UK. If you’re using a French badge, it is advised to print out the English-language notice to display alongside it. You can find the printable version of that here.

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For members


Why dental care could cost you more in France from October

You can expect higher dental costs in France from October 1st, unless you have private top-up health insurance. Here's why.

Why dental care could cost you more in France from October

If you are receiving dental care with a public sector, or conventionné, dentist in France, you are currently eligible to have up to 70 percent of fees reimbursed by the French social security system (Assurance maladie). To benefit from this, you will need to be registered in the system, which is best done by acquiring a carte vitale

READ MORE: Healthcare in France: The essential French vocabulary you’ll need if you’re ill

But from October 1st, only around 60 percent of these fees will be reimbursed by the Assurance maladie – a move that the government hopes will save €500 million each year to help a heavily indebted health system. 

If you have a mutuelle (private health insurance), then the rest of the cost (or a large portion of it) will likely be covered by them, although it’s always worth checking in advance.

If you don’t have a mutuelle, you will have to make up the rest of the cost yourself. According to the consumer association, Que Choisir, some 2.5 million French people do not have private health insurance.

Analysts believe that as a result of these reforms, the cost of mutuelles will increase further – with private insurers arguing that they will have greater overheads. The average price of a mutuelle has been projected to rise by 4.7 percent by the end of the year, in part as a result of inflation.

READ MORE: Medical appointments in France to increase in price

Which dentists are covered by social security? 

When booking a dental appointment in France, it is worth looking for dentists who are conventionné. If you are booking through the Doctolib website, which we would highly recommend, you can filter your search to only show dentists with this status. 

A dentist who is conventionné secteur 1 charges the standard tariffs set by the government – for example a simple consultation will cost €23, a hygienist appointment will cost €28.92 and the removal of an adult tooth will cost €33.44.

Currently, if you are covered by social security, 70 percent of these costs will be reimbursed, but this will soon fall to 60 percent. The rest of the costs will likely be covered by a mutuelle, if you have one. 

A dentist who is conventionné secteur 2 will charge slightly more for their services – this can vary from a few euros to hundreds on euros depending on the case. There are obliged to provide this information to you before you undergo treatment.

If you are registered with the French social security system, you will be reimbursed as if you have received treatment from a secteur 1 dentist. In other words, even if you pay more for a consultation with a secteur 2 dentist, the amount of money you will receive from Assurance maladie will be the same for if you had visited a secteur 1 dentist. A good mutuelle should be able to make up the rest of the costs. 

For private, or non-conventionné secteur 3 dentists, you will not be reimbursed through the French social security system. Only a very good mutuelle will cover the entire cost of these treatments.

READ MORE What you need to know about a mutuelle