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My Honda CRX was bumped into. The repair estimate exceeded its value, so the other guys insurance declared a total loss and sent me a check for its value. That ins. co. really didn't want anything to do with the car and were happy to let me "keep" it. There was no "buy back." I bought it new and paid cash. I always possessed the title and never transferred it to anyone. I did have to turn in the plates to the CA DMV, get a temporary sticker, fix it, pass a special $100 state inspection, and re-register it. I got new plates and they replaced my title with a "salvaged vehicle" title. It cost me a couple hundred bucks for parts and a couple of weekends work. I came out over a thousand bucks ahead. It's been 20 years and I still have the car. I've lived with some "cosmetic" damage (scratches).

You clearly like your Patriot. If it will be structurally sound and safe to serve its purpose, why not fix it and drive it until you wear it out.
 
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