New car registrations in France fell 13.3% in September compared to last year and on a same number of working days basis, showing a volatile market, the national car makers' association CCFA told a news agency.

Over the first three quarters of this year, the market was down 3.1% on a gross basis and fell 2.1% based on the same number of working days, the CCFA told Reuters.

"This strong drop in new car sales in September follows a period of several months marked by more or less strong upward or downward moves and the month of August showing a return to stability," it said. "This evolution marks the lack of visibility which continues to characterise the French car market."

Car makers are struggling to pass on more expensive raw material costs to consumers and domestic car maker Renault has said times are hard for the industry, according to the report.

Renault car registrations were down 21.7% in September while at PSA Peugeot Citroen, which last month announced a new cost savings plan following three profit warnings, they were 10.3% lower. For the first nine months of the year Renault registered 6.6% fewer cars and PSA Peugeot Citroen 4%, Reuters said.

Foreign car brands posted 10.1% lower registrations in the month compared to a year ago with the biggest fall at Nissan of 44.5%. For the first nine months of the year,  however, foreign car registrations rose 1.4%.

Fiat was the only group showing a rise - up 8.2% in September, Reuters said.

Although registrations increased for the BMW brand, up 5.2%, BMW group as a whole registered 14.8% fewer cars.

Audi posted a 3.5% rise in registrations but Volkswagen group, the third biggest seller in France, sold 4.6% fewer cars, with the Volkswagen and Seat brands posting registrations down 9.3% and 4.8% respectively, the report said.

Registrations by Ford fell 21.7% and GM's tally was off 17.6%, Reuters added.