Sales of new cars fell across all major European markets in September, according to figures released this week. The UK reports its sales figures on Thursday.

In Germany, sales were down 11% from a year ago at 250,000 units, the VDIK reported although, when adjusted for the difference of two fewer working days last month, the decline was 2%. The figure took the year-to-date total in Germany to 2.36m vehicles, down 1.8% on the first nine months of last year, according to the VDIK.

In France, sales were down 18% at 136,900 units, car makers’ association CCFA said. This was the 11th consecutive month of falling sales and the CCFA expects the year to be down 12% on 2011. So far this year, sales were down 14% at 1.4m units.

In Italy, sales fell 26% to 109,200 according to the transport ministry. This took the nine-month total to 1.1m, down 20% on 2011.

In Spain, sales plummeted 37% to 35,100 from 55,600 a year ago, according to ANFAC, the vehicle makers’ association. The slump followed an increase in sales tax to 21% from 18% on 1 September as Spain grappled with its debt problem. Sales so far this year were down 11% at 555,000.

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