New car registrations in western Europe fell 1.8% to 1.21 million vehicles in July mainly due to lower car sales in the UK, France and Spain, Germany's auto industry association VDA told Reuters on Thursday.

However, comparisons were complicated by the fact that most countries had one fewer working day in the month compared with July 2004, the news agency noted.

New car registrations in the UK fell by 6.6%, in France by 5.1% and in Spain by 2.8%, VDA reportedly said. They rose in Germany and Italy by 1.2% each.

In the first seven months of 2005, registrations fell 0.5% to 9.02 million units, according to VDA's preliminary estimates, Reuters said.

Feature: July Europe sales analysis