Cheap South Carolina Car Insurance

Compare the best rates from 31 car insurance companies in South Carolina.

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Here's what you need to know when driving in South Carolina

Across the Palmetto State, there are 139,690 miles of road just waiting to be driven. We’ll get you prepped, then you take the wheel.



Cheap Car Insurance

What's the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina?
RankCompany NameAvg. Annual Premium
1The Hartford$760
4State Farm$1,416
5Southern Farm Bureau$1,586
6National Grange Mutual$1,610
10State Auto$1,844
13Bristol West$2,556
15Safe Auto$2,856

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Cheap Insurance for Good Drivers in South Carolina

Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. South Carolina drivers without a recent at-fault accident typically save 31% on their car insurance premiums — nearly matching the 32% US average. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.

Rating Factor$ Savings% Savings
No Traffic Tickets$27116.54%
No Accidents$62831.46%
Good Credit$1,39450.48%

Cheap Insurance for Young Drivers in South Carolina

Young drivers (those between the ages of 16 and 25) pay extraordinarily high auto insurance rates, with those aged 16-19 paying the most expensive premiums of all. Because of the risk presented by inexperienced drivers, teens pay more than three times the national average for car insurance. In South Carolina, the typical teen driver pays $4,742 annually, which aligns with the national average for teens. Teen drivers in South Carolina pay approximately three times as much as do older drivers.

AgeAnnual Rate with ParentsAnnual Rate Alone

Cheap Car Insurance for Bad Drivers in South Carolina

If you have a clean driving record — no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably enjoy relatively cheap car insurance rates. Conversely, a bad driving record will cause your costs to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 33% after a DUI, 31% after an at-fault accident, and 16% after a speeding ticket in South Carolina. The post-citation penalties assessed by car insurance companies in South Carolina are near nationwide averages. If you have a clean driving history, be sure to inquire about your insurance company's safe driver discount.

Rating FactorAnnual Rate% Increase
At-Fault Accident$1,99531.46%
Speeding Violation$1,63816.54%
Bad Credit$2,76150.48%

What are the Best Car Insurance Companies in South Carolina?

Every car insurer boasts about its low rates. But just like with any service, the cheapest option isn't always the best. Considering the stakes, it's worth doing the due diligence to obtain an auto policy that covers your car completely after an accident. It's worth contrasting options to discover a great value, rather than settling for the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina.

Review top insurance companies' financial strength and claims satisfaction levels to better understand the level of service they will provide. Claims satisfaction — assigned by J.D. Power — is ranked on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being "among the best" and 2 being "the rest." Financial strength — calculated by A.M. Best and running from "Poor" to "Superior" — evaluates an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its policy and contractual obligations.

Insurance CompanyClaims Satisfaction (J.D. Power)Financial Strength (A.M. Best)
Bristol WestNot RatedExcellent
Liberty Mutual3Excellent
National Grange MutualNot RatedExcellent
Southern Farm BureauNot RatedSuperior
State AutoNot RatedExcellent
State Farm3Superior
The Hartford4Excellent


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What is the Best Auto Insurance Coverage in South Carolina?

The minimum insurance requirement in the state of South Carolina is $25,000 Bodily Injury per person, $50,000 Bodily Injury per accident, and $25,000 Property Damage per accident.

For the legal minimum coverage level in South Carolina, prepare to pay an average of $693 per year. This is pricier than the U.S. average by 5%. If you opt for more comprehensive coverage, you can purchase a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, which will protect against damages caused by vehicle collisions, theft, or weather conditions. However, better insurance coverage comes at a price: in South Carolina, a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,240, 79% more than liability-only car insurance. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 97% more than you might for basic coverage.

Compare average expenditures for basic, good, and great policy tiers below.

LocationLiability-OnlyComprehensive — $1,000 DeductibleComprehensive — $500 Deductible
South Carolina$693.49$1,239.69$1,369.56
National Average$657.66$1,241.26$1,397.94

Car Insurance Laws

State minimum insurance requirements in South Carolina

In South Carolina, the state minimum coverage requirements are as follows:

  • Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $25,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist
  • Bodily Injury $25,000 per person
  • Bodily Injury $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage $25,000 per accident
Optional coverage in South Carolina (varies by carrier):
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical Payments
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Underinsured Motorist Property Damage

Learn more about car insurance laws in South Carolina.

South Carolina Car Insurance FAQs

Is car insurance required in South Carolina?

Yes. Car insurance is required by law in South Carolina.

Do restricted license drivers need car insurance in South Carolina?

Yes. Your driver's license status does not affect your need for car insurance. If you're driving a vehicle in South Carolina, it needs to be insured.

Do I need insurance on a totaled car South Carolina?

This depends on what your plan for the vehicle is, and on details of your insurance policy. If your vehicle has been totaled and you do not plan on replacing it, you can cancel the policy. Just be aware that if you do not have another vehicle on the policy, canceling coverage for the vehicle would cancel the coverage altogether.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina cities?

Car insurance companies calculate your rate based on many factors, location of the vehicle being an important one. The cheapest car insurance is found in Simpsonville, South Carolina, and the most expensive in North Charleston, South Carolina.

RankCityAvg. Annual Premium
1North Charleston$1,508
4Goose Creek$1,472
7Rock Hill$1,433
8Myrtle Beach$1,404
9Mount Pleasant$1,346
14Hilton Head Island$1,266

Recent South Carolina Car Insurance Questions and Answers

Should I file a claim through State Farm?

These kinds of situations are going to depend greatly on your current finances and insurance premiums. If you've previously had a clean record, an accident will typically increase your rates by about 20 to 30%.

I broke a tooth while working on my friend's car. Will his auto insurance cover the dentist bill?

Auto insurance will not get involved in this situation unless you were injured in a car accident or something else that would qualify as a loss. If your friend is at-fault for this happening, you could file a claim against the personal liability coverage of their renters or homeowners policy.

Can my license be suspended if my son wrecked my car without insurance?

Sorry to hear about the situation. I cannot give you a definitive answer as it sounds like this situation will be determined in the courts.

Which insurance companies will insure a driver without a license?

You may check with Geico to see if they will take an unlicensed driver. However, in my experience, they will not.

Driving Laws

South Carolina Texting and Driving Laws

  1. Ban on text messaging for all drivers

South Carolina DUI Laws

The DUI lookback period in South Carolina is 10 years. Multiple DUI offenses within a decade result in harsher penalties. Penalties are also enhanced for any DUI that leads to injury or death. DUI penalties in South Carolina are also increased for DUI with a passenger under 16 years old.

First-time DUI offenses in South Carolina lead to:

  • 48 hours to 30 days in jail or 48 hours of community service
  • $400 in fines
  • License suspension for six months

How Do Tickets Impact South Carolina Auto Insurance Rates?

If you get a ticket, your auto insurance rates will probably rise. By how much depends on the violation, your insurance company's pricing strategy, and differences in local insurance risks and regulations. That's why tickets may have a different impact on insurance in your state compared to the national average.

Below is a snapshot of average auto insurance rates in South Carolina after a few common violations.

ViolationAvg. Annual Auto Insurance Rate% Insurance Rate Increase$ Insurance Rate Increase
Hit and Run$2,19560%$826
Refused Breathalyzer/Chemical Test$2,12555%$756
Reckless Driving$2,06351%$694
Driving with a Suspended License$2,10354%$734
At-Fault Accident$1,96744%$598
Driving with an Open Container$1,80732%$438
Operating a Vehicle Without Permission$1,71125%$342
Passing a School Bus$1,70525%$336
Improper Passing$1,66722%$298
Following Too Closely$1,66722%$298
Failure to Stop at a Red Light$1,66722%$298
Illegal Turn$1,66722%$298
Driving Wrong Way/Wrong Lane$1,66722%$298
Failure to Yield$1,66722%$298
Speeding in a School Zone$1,64920%$280
Driving Too Slowly$1,64920%$280
Distracted Driving$1,60717%$238
Driving with Expired Registration$1,60217%$234
Failure to Show Documents$1,60217%$234
Not-at-Fault Accident$1,4607%$91
Failure to Use Child Safety Restraint$1,4647%$95
Failure to Wear a Seat Belt$1,4647%$95
Driving Without Lights$1,4053%$36

South Carolina Tour Guide Scholarship

At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in the South Carolina area, while also getting an insider view of the Palmetto State.


So, students, we want to see your favorite road trip destination(s) in your state— from your unique perspective. If it makes sense to hit the open road and be our virtual tour guide, that's great! But there are no limits to what we're looking for: a narrated animation, a slideshow of memorabilia, an illustrated map of the best roadside attractions on the way. This is a chance for you to showcase any place you love in as an original way as possible.

How do I choose a location?

The length of the road trip to your feature destination is inconsequential. So if you have an awesome spot in mind that's just two miles from home, we want to see it.


Applicants must be currently enrolled at or planning to attend a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States. Upon notification, winner(s) must supply a current proof of enrollment or letter of acceptance.

How to Apply
1. Create a video

Your original video should not exceed 2 minutes

2. Post online

The video must be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo

3. Submit by email

Email your submission to

4. Please include...

your name, address, and phone number when you submit


Selected winner(s) will be awarded a check for $1,000


Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31st, 2020


Winner(s) will be selected and notified by email by January 31st, 2021

Judges: The Zebra

The winner will be selected based on creativity in the content and presentation

*Upon notification, winner(s) must also supply a current proof of enrollment at a four-year university, graduate program, community college, or trade school located in the continental United States.

Fine Print

By participating, entrants represent that the video submitted is their sole and original work and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other party. In other words, no copyrighted music or images may be used.

Employees of The Zebra and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in the contest.

Written credits for any technical or talent positions (e.g., editor, director, actors) should be included with your submission, along with any sources used to create the video.

Kristine Lee LinkedIn

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent and one of The Zebra’s in-house content strategists. With a background in copywriting, she covers the ins and outs of the home and car insurance industries. She has contributed to numerous publications focused on the nuances of insurance, including Automoblog,, and