Garages sold R14.7bn worth of fuel in April, only fractionally less than in March, Statistics SA’s monthly motor trade report released on Thursday showed.

This contrasted with Stats SA’s wholesale trade report issued a few hours earlier which showed April’s total "solid, liquid and gaseous fuels and related products" sales fell 8.5% to R33bn from R36bn in March.

Though the value of fuel sold remained level, the overall sales of SA’s motor industry fell 15% to R48.6bn in April from R57bn in March. Higher fuel taxes and levies, which took effect in April, saw the price of 95 octane petrol in Gauteng rising 5.2% to R14.48 a litre from R13.76 a litre in March.

According to Stats SA, retail fuel sales fell only marginally from R14.690bn in March to R14.689bn in April. The motor trade report does not indicate what the drop in the volume of fuel sales would have been.

April’s new-vehicle sales plunged 32% to R11.5bn from R17bn in March. March vehicle sales were boosted by motorists rushing their purchases before higher VAT and vehicle emission taxes took effect in April.

New-vehicle sales jumped 20% from R14bn in February to R17bn in March. Used car sales fell 14% to R9bn in April after jumping 6% to R10.5bn from February’s R9.9bn.

Service station convenience store sales fell 8.5% to R1.7bn in April.