Consumers shopping for a new car may want to give serious consideration to trading in their current car for a new one. In times past, it made more sense to sell the old car privately, ensuring that you've made hundreds of dollars more selling it yourself than trading it in.

Today, the market has changed as used cars are much more valuable than what they were just a year earlier. Much higher gas prices have put some cars, particularly fuel efficient models, in greater demand. Thus, the market is clearly in favor of people that are ready to buy and are looking for more money for their trade.

Let's take a look at some points you should consider as you evaluate how to get more money for your trade-in, tips that are courty of auto Trends Magazine:

1. Know its worth – Never consider trading your car in without knowing its worth. Third-party sites such as Kelley Blue Book can give you your car's present value based on its make / model, model year, trim level, condition and other factors. You'll get two prices – one is for what your car might sell for privately, the other number is what your dealer might offer you. You'll want to find a spot somewhere between the two.

2. Understand its condition – You stand a better chance of getting top dollar for your vehicle if you are its original owner. Also, if your car has lower mileage and has been maintained properly, it should fetch more than the minimum amount. Not being in an accident is important too, something that can easily be verified by running a car facts report.

3. Gauge its demand – You may own a late model vehicle that is in excellent shape, has come with all the bells and whistles, and has low mileage. But, if it is a large sport utility vehicle, it may be more difficult to receive top dollar. That is because dealers are putting a premium on smaller and more fuel efficient cars, vehicles that used car salespeople can sell with ease if they have enough of them. Figure that a good condition car with a fuel efficient four cylinder engine will bring the owner more money than mostly anything else out there.

4. Hold your ground – With the right information you can fetch top dollar for your trade. Still, do not expect sales people to give you more money without you negotiating for it. Although dealers are likely to make a handsome profit reselling your car, you can make a case for a larger trade-in once you seal the deal on the car you want to buy. That is why you need to finalize the deal on your new car before discussing a trade – sharp sales people will seek to increase their profit line by either charging charging more for your new car or giving you less for your trade. Oftentimes they will do both.

Now that you're ready to make a trade, do you know what your intended new car purchase is really worth? Seek bids from multiple dealers and get the lowest price before arranging a deal. Then and only then present your used car as a trade-in. If you do not get what you want for your current car, you can always sell it privately or find another dealer to buy it apart from your new car purchase.