According to Network Automotive dealers are often good at selling cars directly to driving schools, but they are not capturing the first time drivers who then want to buy the same model that they passed their test in.
Colin Bruder, managing director, said: "Each year, 1.8 million people take their driving test and of those that pass, up to 80% rip up their L plates, then go and buy a car almost identical to the one that they learned to drive in.
"Clearly, dealers need to make sure that they are capturing these sales but very few have ongoing links with local driving schools to which they have sold cars.”
Bruder pointed out that these new drivers presented an excellent opportunity to dealers. While they might not be able to afford a new car now, they were superb used car prospects and represented a potential lifetime of car sales and aftersales purchases.
He said: "It is all about building a pathway from the driving school to the dealership. There are several ways to do this. For example, you can incentivise the driving school to steer the new driver towards your dealership and then perhaps offer a discount voucher off a new or used car to the driver.
"Schemes of this type have very good potential but very few dealers put in much effort in this area. This is surprising to us because it is such a large market and one which is automatically refreshed by new buyers every year."