Our Guide to Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina in 2022

If you live in South Carolina and are looking to save some money on your monthly car insurance bill, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to check out our complete guide to getting cheaper auto insurance in The Palmetto State.

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Updated July 29th, 2022

The Best Deals on Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina

Whether you’re a resident of South Carolina or you’re visiting the state on vacation, it’s important to have good auto insurance when you’re on the road. According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, distracted driving causes up to two crashes per hour in the state and South Carolina drivers are the seventh worst in the country. Ouch!

If you live in South Carolina, you’ll need to make sure your car insurance meets the state minimum for property damage and bodily injury insurance coverage. If you’re just visiting, then you’ll want to look up auto insurance policies in your home state. In most cases, your primary insurance policy will cover you nationwide.


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Now, let’s take a look at how to find cheap car insurance in South Carolina and what you can expect from average auto insurance rates in the state.

What Are the Insurance Requirements in South Carolina?

Cheap car insurance South Carolina: family happily looking at a map while in their car

First, what kind of car insurance do you need in South Carolina? Every state sets its own minimum coverage requirements that explain what type of insurance you need. Some types of insurance cover damage to your vehicle, while others offer property damage liability, bodily injury liability, and personal injury protection.

Technically, South Carolina doesn’t require you to have car insurance at all – but you’ll have to pay an uninsured motorist fee of $550 per year. Auto-owners who don’t pay this fee could face a daily fine for not having coverage, have their license and registration suspended, and spend up to six months in jail after their third offense.

Even if you didn’t run the risk of fines and penalties, we don’t think it’s a good idea to drive without auto insurance. After all, you won’t be covered if you get into an at-fault accident, and you’ll have to pay for any property damage or medical payments.

South Carolina Car Insurance Minimums

If you do choose to carry car insurance in South Carolina, then you’ll have to look for a policy with the following minimum coverage levels:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person; $50,000 per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury (UMBI) coverage per person; $50,000 per accident
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage

These car insurance requirements may sound like a lot, but they’re pretty standard compared to the minimum requirements in other states. The main difference is that South Carolina requires uninsured motorist coverage, and some states don’t. Almost every state requires liability car insurance coverage.

Of course, you’ll always have the option of choosing comprehensive coverage or a full coverage car insurance policy if you want more protection.

Some cases require that you have SR-22 coverage. That’s the name of the form you have to fill out if you’re caught driving under the influence (DUI) or driving without insurance when you haven’t paid the uninsured motorist fee.

In that case, it might be harder for you to find cheap auto insurance in South Carolina. That’s because some car insurance companies may deny you coverage altogether, or they may consider you a high-risk driver, so you won’t get their best rates.

Driving Laws in South Carolina

What else do you need to know about driving in South Carolina? If you’re visiting from another state, you don’t need South Carolina auto insurance if you already have car insurance elsewhere.

But if you’re moving to South Carolina, you’ll need to transfer your vehicle registration within 45 days and get car insurance in the state.

Either way, you should brush up on these driving laws in South Carolina, which may be a little different than what you’re used to in other states:

  • It’s illegal to text and drive in South Carolina
  • You can get a ticket for cruising in the left-hand lane 
  • “Obscene or indecent” bumper stickers are against the law
  • You can make a right turn on red when it’s safe to do so

Average Rates for Car Insurance in South Carolina

Man driving his car

Now that you know some do’s and don’ts about driving in South Carolina, how much will car insurance cost you? That depends on several factors, such as where you live, your driving record, and what kind of coverage you want to maintain.

Let’s take a look at some average monthly car insurance premiums in South Carolina based on where you live:

  • Aiken: $90
  • Charleston: $105
  • Columbia: $109
  • Florence: $112
  • Greenville: $101
  • Spartanburg: $92
  • Summerville: $120
  • Sumter: $105

As you can see, typical car insurance premiums range between $90 and $120. The cheapest rates are in Union and Pickens ($76 per month), and the most expensive place to insure a car in South Carolina is Goose Creek ($127 per month).

Other Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates

Location is just one of the factors that car insurance companies use to determine your auto insurance rates. Let’s see what else they take into account.

Age

No matter where you live, you can expect to pay more for car insurance if you’re a teen driver or a new driver without much of a driving history. According to our research, the auto insurance companies with the lowest rates for teen drivers in SC are:

  • Liberty Mutual: $241
  • Gainsco: $242
  • Esurance: $300
  • Direct Auto: $315

That works out to an annual rate of about $2,892. Young drivers under 25 can expect to pay lower rates than teens, with an annual premium of around $2,292.

Credit Score and Marital Status

Once you’ve turned 25 years old, you can expect to pay the same amount as everyone else for car insurance, right? Maybe not. Whether or not you’re married, own a home, and have a good or poor credit score can all impact your car insurance rates.

Based on our methodology, we found that single drivers paid significantly more for the same amount of coverage even through the same insurance providers:

Married Single
Gainsco $90 $124
Liberty Mutual $98 $123
Safeco $98 $121
SafeAuto $130 $171
Esurance $144 $189

Driving Record

The next thing to consider is whether you have a clean driving record or a history of car accidents. A single accident will raise your premium more than a speeding ticket, but if you have multiple tickets, you can expect it to impact your rates even more.

Here’s the average cost of car insurance in SC with a checkered driving history:

Single Ticket Single Accident
Direct Auto $138 $161
Gainsco $138 $157
Safeco $141 $143
Liberty Mutual $158 $172
Travelers $163 $168

Coverage Levels

Finally, the type of coverage you choose can have a big impact on your car insurance rates. Do you want the bare minimum liability and collision coverage, or do you want to pay more for a full coverage policy? The difference between the best auto insurance coverage and the cheapest auto insurance policy can be pretty steep:

State Minimum Full Coverage
Safeco $81 $154
Gainsco $99 $162
Liberty Mutual $99 $196
Direct Auto $103 $159
AssuranceAmerica $118 $190

You can also choose a policy with a higher deductible amount or look for car insurance discounts if you want to save money. 

Find the Best Cheap Car Insurance in South Carolina

Cheap car insurance South Carolina: family putting things into their car's trunk

Keeping your car on the road is important, so choosing the cheapest car insurance you can find doesn’t mean you’re selling yourself short. The best car insurance companies pride themselves on offering a wide range of policies to ensure customer satisfaction. South Carolina’s premiums are on par with the national average, and even the cheapest car insurance companies will be there if you need to file a claim.

Of course, the only way to know for sure that you’re getting the best cheap car insurance for you is to compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers. Simply enter your South Carolina ZIP code here to compare car insurance rates side-by-side:


Compare Car Insurance Rates Here


The Best Rated Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina

According to the reviews, studies, and trends we’ve analyzed, the top-rated car insurance companies are:

  1. Travelers
  2. Geico
  3. State Farm
  4. Nationwide

These companies each offer exceptional coverage options, supportive agents, and a claims processing experience that satisfies policyholders.

South Carolina Car Insurance Discounts

South Carolina is as good as any state when getting discounts on your car insurance. With state-approved courses, you can even prepare to expunge or manage negative aspects of your driving record that are increasing rates. To see all the discounts that might be available to you in South Carolina, take a look at our car insurance discounts page.

Recent South Carolina Car Insurance Rate Trends

Over the past few years, the trend for the cost of car insurance in South Carolina has been pretty stable. You shouldn’t have a problem getting a low rate with this market.

2017 $137
2018 $144
2019 $141
2020 $141
2021 $137

But that doesn’t mean rates are going to continue to go down. According to experts, car insurance rates are rising in 2022, and your premiums are most likely no different. That makes now a perfect time to shop around for a new policy and lock in your rates for the next six months or even a year.


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Compare Car Insurance Rates by South Carolina Cities

map of south carolina

City Average Monthly Car Insurance Premium
Aiken $90
Anderson $84
Beaufort $109
Belton $83
Bishopville $106
Blacksburg $84
Bluffton $99
Blythewood $110
Boiling Springs $89
Camden $93
Central $85
Charleston $105
Chesnee $90
Chester $101
Clinton $89
Clover $95
Columbia $109
Conway $104
Cowpens $143
Darlington $110
Dillon $115
Easley $89
Elgin $97
Florence $112
Ft. Mill $97
Fountain Inn $88
Gaffney $87
Gaston $117
Georgetown $111
Goose Creek $127
Gray Court $88
Greenville $101
Greenwood $88
Greer $98
Hanahan $107
Hardeeville $108
Hartsville $104
Hilton Head Island $81
Hopkins $109
Inman $88
Irmo $93
Johns Island $108
Kingstree $103
Ladson $125
Lancaster $105
Laurens $79
Lexington $104
Liberty $97
Little River $97
Loris $98
Manning $95
Marion $88
Mauldin $94
Moncks Corner $123
Mount Pleasant $82
Murrells Inlet $85
Myrtle Beach $92
Newberry $97
North Augusta $94
North Charleston $116
North Myrtle Beach $88
Orangeburg $100
Pickens $76
Piedmont $96
Ridgeland $120
Rock Hill $98
Seneca $80
Simpsonville $96
Spartanburg $92
Summerville $120
Sumter $105
Taylors $93
Travelers Rest $81
Union $76
Walterboro $99
West Columbia $105
Woodruff $86
York $88

Click on the name of each city in the table above to find detailed breakdowns of all the factors that go into calculating your monthly premium. Here, you’ll find all the information you need on how things like driving record, age, gendervehicle make and model, and more will affect how much you pay for car insurance in each locality.

And if you want to jump right in and see how much you’ll pay, simply enter your ZIP code below and find your best rate in minutes!


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South Carolina Auto Insurance FAQs

What car insurance is required in South Carolina?

South Carolina, like other states, requires its drivers to be insured to cover damages and injuries in the case of an automobile accident. The minimum requirement for South Carolina car insurance is a liability policy that provides $25,000 in coverage for bodily injury to one person in an accident and $50,000 in coverage for bodily injury to all involved in an accident. If you are at fault for an accident, liability coverage protects you if others make injury claims. These claims can include costs associated with medical care, pain, and lost wages from time away from work. Finally, South Carolina drivers must have insurance that provides a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for property damage during an accident. 

How much is car insurance in South Carolina?

As with any state, the average auto insurance cost in South Carolina will vary depending upon the type of policy you carry, your driving record, and the company you choose as your insurance provider. We’ve 

What happens if you drive without car insurance in South Carolina?

If you drive without insurance in a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you, the state of South Carolina will automatically suspend your license for 30 days and require you to pay a $100 fee to reinstate it. On the other hand, if you own the vehicle that you are found guilty of driving without insurance, your license will be suspended until you pay a $600 fee for being an uninsured motorist. You must also file an SR-22, which typically results in higher insurance premiums.

Does South Carolina require full coverage insurance?

The state of South Carolina does not require full coverage auto insurance

Can you get car insurance without a license in South Carolina?

You may be surprised to learn that you can buy car insurance without a license in the state of South Carolina. If you own a vehicle but do not have a license, you should still cover the vehicle on an insurance policy.

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