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Driving in France

If you are going to France for the summer holiday, you need to pack for your car as well as yourself. There is a list of items that you need to have in the car; headlight stickers, hi-viz jackets for driver and all passengers, warning triangle, GB sticker, spare bulbs and breathalysers. If that is not enough, if you wear glasses, you need to have a spare pair in the car. And if you drive through the "environmental zone" in Paris, you need to have a sticker in the car showing the vehicle’s rating. But don’t worry as you will have some spare space as you must remove all radar detector equipment.
 
The story behind the breathalysers is interesting. Around 2010, parents of children killed by drunk drivers successfully lobbied the French government to make it compulsory to carry a breathalyser in the car. With just 2 small companies making these disposable breathalysers,  they just simply could not meet the demand. Therefore the date that the law was to be introduced and the date from which fines would start to be issued for not carrying them just kept getting put back over and over again. At the height of the supply issues, people were buying them for over £20 to avoid the proposed fine of €11, which never came into being anyway.
 
This illogical thinking can sometimes apply to the Lifetime Allowance. We have customers who are electing to leave very generous pension schemes in order to avoid the Lifetime Allowance. Where your pensions are valued at over £1,030,000, you will pay tax at 55% of the excess. If you leave the company pension scheme, the worst case scenario is that you will completely forgo your employer’s pension contributions. The best case is that your employer will pay the pension contribution as salary on which you will probably pay higher rate tax and National insurance. Always think twice before rushing into a decision and, when it comes to pensions, speak to The Pensions Advisory Service.

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