LeShuttle has launched a special promotion on day/overnight trips today, which will be available from just £30 per car each way, making tax-free continental shopping even more appealing in the run up to Christmas.
The popular cross-channel shuttle service takes just 35 minutes to transport vehicles and their passengers from Folkestone to Calais, and travelling by car means you can fill your boot with shopping.
The offer covers travel from 13 November until 13 December, and will be on sale until 7th December. In addition, if you shop at Carrefour Cite Europe in Calais, Olivier Vins or Decathlon stores you will receive a €10 gift voucher.
LeShuttle guide to tax free shopping
An upside of Brexit is tax free shopping in the EU for UK residents. With LeShuttle, it couldn’t be easier to pop under the Channel and fill your boot. A wide variety of goods qualify for a VAT refund (up to 20%) including cosmetics, technology, jewellery, and food and drink items.
How does it work?
Step 1: Shop
Make sure the store offers tax-free shopping, and spend more than €100.01 in France to qualify for a VAT refund. When you pay, ask a member of staff for a tax refund form, and you will need to show your passport.
Step 2: Validate
You have to prove that you bought the goods in the EU and will consume them in your non-EU country of residence. In France, you can validate your tax refund form by scanning the barcode at a self-service PABLO kiosk.
LeShuttle has these located in the Calais terminal. Validating tax refund forms MUST be done before leaving Calais.
Step 3: Refund
Currently the best option is to present your credit card when making a purchase, then you’ll get an electronic refund in the currency of your card or bank account. Be aware, you will still need to validate the tax free form before leaving the country.
LeShuttle’s top tips for seamless tax-free shopping:
- Bring your passport, you’ll need to show it to store staff
- Try to purchase as many items on the same receipt as possible – you can often get a higher rate of refund for larger purchases
- Don’t use the items before you leave the EU, all items must be unused in original packaging
- Take a photo of your tax refund forms after having them validated so you have evidence if a problem with your refund occurs later
VAT rates in France are 20% standard, with pharmacy goods at 10%, food & books at 5.5%.
Where to go?
Calais is only 35 minutes from Folkestone on LeShuttle, and you’ll find large shopping centres and small boutiques. Cité Europe mall and Carrefour hypermarket are just a 5 minute drive from the Calais terminal. For the luxury hunters, the Channel Outlet store is also nearby.
Perhaps you’re looking for a new designer watch or outfit, in which case head to the boutiques and designer stores of Paris. Deauville in Normandy, a 3h drive from Calais, has a thriving fashion scene with a shopping district boasting Sandro, Maje, Hermès and Louis Vuitton.
Carrefour Cité Europe & LeShuttle Offer
LeShuttle has joined forces with French supermarket giant Carrefour for an offer open only to LeShuttle passengers who are UK residents.
For every €150 spent at Carrefour Cité Europe, customers will be given a €10 gift card which can be redeemed on the day or within one year from the issue date.