Best Cheap Auto Insurance in South Carolina (2023)

The South Carolina auto insurance market is full of competitive rates from several different companies.

Sarah Sharkey
Written bySarah Sharkey
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer
  • 7+ years writing insurance and personal finance content

  • Contributor to top media, including USA Today

A passionate personal finance advocate, Sarah’s writing has graced the pages of many of the personal finance and insurance industries’ top web publications.

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Chris Schafer
Edited byChris Schafer
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated July 31, 2023

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If you’re looking for car insurance in South Carolina, you have plenty of options. USAA, Auto-Owners, and State Farm offer some of the cheapest car insurance options in the Palmetto State. Each of these insurers offers average monthly auto quotes of under $75, which can leave you with more money to dine in Charleston, stroll through Congaree National Park, or take in another day at the beach.

It’s also important to note that the price you’ll pay for auto insurance in South Carolina can vary dramatically based on your driving record, age, location, and more. This article is your guide to how average auto insurance rates fluctuate based on these unique conditions so you can use this information to find the policy to best match your needs.

Quick Facts
  • USAA is the cheapest auto insurer in South Carolina, with average rates of $65 per month.

  • Choosing a full-coverage policy will likely cost more than a liability-only policy but may be a good idea if you have a newer vehicle.

  • The average liability-only premium in South Carolina is much more expensive than in North Carolina but cheaper than in Georgia and Florida.

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Cheapest car insurance companies in South Carolina

Some of the best car insurance companies in South Carolina offer consistently low rates for a wide range of drivers. But every driver has a unique situation, which means the right auto insurance company for you varies based on your needs.

For example, if you have a speeding ticket or an accident on your record, you might find the best rates with a different insurer than if you had a clean record. However, no matter your circumstances, you can always start by researching some of the best insurers, highlighted below.

Best insurer for liability-only and full-coverage policies: USAA

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.3
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
880
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$65/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$93/mo

USAA offers car insurance policies to its members. Membership is open to military members, veterans, and their families. This company offers some of the cheapest rates in the state, based on Insurify data. USAA also offers a suite of discount opportunities and relatively high customer satisfaction ratings.

Pros
  • Many available discounts

  • Banking/investment products also available

Cons
  • Must be associated with the military

  • Limited customer service hours and few branches available

The representative was very helpful and caring. I felt valued.

Tawana - January 18, 2023
Verified

I have been a member for 14 years. They have always delivered excellent customer care anytime I needed to reach out to them for any reason, whether it was to resolve an issue or assist me with an application for one of the many services and products they offer.

Christina - January 18, 2023
Verified

Exceptional customer service

Anthony - January 16, 2023
Verified
Read our USAA review

Best insurer for seniors: Progressive

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
819
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$128/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$190/mo

Progressive has a robust network of in-person insurance agents to help you navigate the insurance process. It also offers some of the best rates for seniors in South Carolina. Although Progressive earned below-average marks in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, its relatively high IQ Score indicates you’ll likely have a positive experience.

Pros
  • Many available discounts

  • Relatively low premiums for seniors

Cons
  • No anti-theft equipment discount available

  • Below-average score in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S Auto Insurance Study

Very good service but too expensive

Dewey - February 3, 2023
Verified

I called with questions; the answers were complete and to the point.

Yvonne - February 2, 2023
Verified

Would not let us bundle

Gary - February 2, 2023
Verified
Read our Progressive review

Best insurer for on-demand insurance: Hugo

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
3
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
Not rated
A.M. Best
A.M. Best analyzes an insurer’s financials, operating performance, business profile, and other factors to generate an opinion-based rating of a company’s financial and credit strength. Ratings range from A++ (exceptional) to D (poor).
NR
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$99/mo

Hugo offers on-demand auto insurance, which allows you the option to start or stop coverage at any time, paying for it only on days you need it. Depending on your driving frequency, this could lead to significant savings on your car insurance costs.

Pros
  • Option to activate your car insurance only when you need it

  • Perfect for drivers who drive infrequently

Cons
  • May not be cheaper if you need insurance coverage every day

  • Available in only nine states

Cheapest liability-only car insurance in South Carolina

Often more affordable, liability coverage is designed to help you cover the cost of damage or injuries you cause in an accident. However, liability-only car insurance doesn’t cover the cost of repairs for your own vehicle.[1]

This table provides you with a list of the most affordable liability-coverage offerings in the state.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in South Carolina

Full-coverage auto insurance goes beyond the minimum liability coverage to provide protection for your vehicle as well. This type of insurance is broken down into comprehensive coverage and collision coverage.

If you finance or lease your vehicle, your lender or dealership may require you to carry full-coverage insurance. You may also benefit from this increased protection if you have a newer vehicle that would be more expensive to replace.

Here’s a look at some of the leading insurance companies in South Carolina offering full-coverage car insurance.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA79
Auto-Owners85
State Farm88
GEICO94
Allstate137
Safeco138
Travelers141
Nationwide142
State Auto161
Progressive173
Direct Auto188
Liberty Mutual220
The General292
Dairyland295
Bristol West329
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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Car insurance requirements in South Carolina

You must carry a minimum amount of car insurance to legally drive in South Carolina. Under the South Carolina tort law, you’ll need to carry at least the minimum coverage outlined below.

illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/f2ca9fa443/protection-for-passengers.svg

Bodily injury liability

  • $25,000 per person

  • $50,000 per accident

illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/7b43b14514/damage-from-aircraft.svg

Property damage

  • $25,000 per accident

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an incident

Mistakes happen. But if you have an incident on your record — including at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, driving under the influence, and other moving violations — you’ll tend to face higher auto premiums. The reason for the increase is that insurance companies feel your past behavior is more likely to lead to you filing future claims.

For example, GEICO offers average monthly premiums of $79 to drivers with a clean record. However, the average monthly rate increases to $106 for drivers with a speeding ticket and to $157 for drivers with a DUI.

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Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket

A speeding ticket will cost you. Beyond the ticket itself, you’ll likely have to pay higher insurance premiums, particularly if you have multiple speeding tickets. Fortunately, the quotes you’ll receive for having a speeding ticket on your record are still more inexpensive than for other incidents.

Here’s a look at the average monthly quotes offered by South Carolina insurers for drivers with a speeding ticket.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Auto-Owners125
State Farm129
GEICO138
Allstate201
Safeco202
Travelers207
Nationwide208
State Auto236
Progressive253
Direct Auto275
Liberty Mutual322
The General428
Dairyland432
Bristol West482
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an at-fault accident

If you’ve had an at-fault car accident in the past, you can expect to pay more for car insurance than drivers with a clean record. Below are some average monthly quotes from insurers in South Carolina for drivers with an at-fault accident. As you can see, the average premiums are higher than those with a clean record or those with a speeding ticket.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Auto-Owners126
State Farm130
GEICO139
Allstate202
Safeco204
Travelers208
Nationwide210
State Auto238
Progressive256
Direct Auto278
Liberty Mutual325
The General431
Dairyland436
Bristol West486
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI

Driving under the influence is a serious violation that comes with serious consequences that include higher car insurance costs. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence, you can expect to pay more for your average car insurance than drivers with clean records or other incidents.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Auto-Owners112
State Farm116
GEICO124
Allstate180
Safeco182
Travelers185
Nationwide187
State Auto212
Progressive228
Direct Auto247
Liberty Mutual289
The General384
Dairyland388
Bristol West433
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Learn More: DWI vs. DUI: What’s the Difference?

Learn More: DWI vs. DUI: What’s the Difference?

Cheapest car insurance for seniors

Your driving history isn’t the only thing that affects your car insurance costs. Age can play a vital role as well, particularly if you’re a teen or a senior. In general, drivers tend to pay more for car insurance until around age 25. But rates start to creep up again around age 75.

As a senior driver, shopping around can help you find the best rates for your age group, and a collection of average quotes are included below.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Safeco79
Travelers81
Nationwide81
Progressive99
Direct Auto108
Liberty Mutual126
The General167
Dairyland169
Bristol West189
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for teens

Car insurance is notoriously high for young drivers because these less-experienced motorists are statistically more likely to get in an accident and file a claim. If you’re a teen looking to cut expenses, some ways to trim your car insurance costs include staying on your parents’ insurance, driving a safe vehicle, maintaining good grades, and raising your deductible.

Comparing quotes can also help you find a more affordable rate. You can see average monthly quotes from several South Carolina insurers below.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 PM PDT
Data reviewed by Konstantin Halachev
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Progressive317
Direct Auto344
Liberty Mutual403
The General535
Dairyland540
Bristol West602
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

How to get the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina

Car insurance is an unavoidable cost, but there’s no need to overpay. Here are some strategies to help you lower your car insurance costs:

  • Raise your deductible. Carrying a higher deductible will generally lead to lower premiums because you’re assuming a greater portion of the up-front costs should you file a claim. Just make sure not to set your deductible so high you can’t afford to cover it.

  • Ask for a discount. Many insurance companies offer a suite of discount options, including those for safe drivers, students with good grades, and drivers who take an approved defensive driving course. You’ll never know what’s available for you if you don’t ask.

  • Improve your credit score. Drivers with a higher credit score tend to pay less for car insurance. You can start building a better credit score by paying your bills on time and not applying for any new lines of credit.

  • Shop around. Shopping around can also help you find affordable premiums, so get quotes from at least three different insurance companies before making a decision.

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South Carolina car insurance quotes by credit tier

South Carolina allows insurance companies to consider your credit history when determining your premiums. In general, drivers with excellent or good credit scores tend to pay lower rates than drivers with poor credit scores.

You can improve your credit score by paying your bills on time and not applying for any new lines of credit. Reviewing your credit report to look for mistakes, using a secured credit card, and aiming to use 30% or less of your available credit on any account can also help you improve your credit and lower the cost you pay for insurance.

Rates by Credit Tier

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Methodology

Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, and demographic information.

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums. The data included on this page represent averages across all driver ages, gender, credit scores, and driver profiles for South Carolina drivers.

South Carolina car insurance FAQs

If you still have questions regarding how to find the best car insurance in South Carolina, the information presented here can help.

  • How much is car insurance in South Carolina?

    The average monthly cost for liability-only coverage in South Carolina is $218, according to Insurify data. This places South Carolina on the higher side of average costs compared to other states, and it’s significantly more expensive than North Carolina’s average liability-only monthly cost of $69. However, South Carolina’s rates are lower than other nearby states like Georgia ($244) and Florida ($356).

  • What are the best car insurance companies in South Carolina?

    The top insurers in South Carolina are as varied as the users who need them. Securing insurance through USAA can be a great idea for active members of the military. If you’re a senior or teen, you’ll want to look at Progressive, which offers competitive rates and has an IQ Score of 4.0. And if you don’t drive often, Hugo may be a good option. The company allows you to pay for coverage only on the days you need it and has positive customer feedback scores.

  • Can you get cheap car insurance with no deposit in South Carolina?

    No. Your insurer will require some form of deposit or down payment up front before selling you a policy. This payment will typically be a percentage of your premium rather than a separate fee.

  • Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in South Carolina?

    Yes. South Carolina law requires that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage, as well as liability coverage, in order to drive in the state.

Insurify Insights

How South Carolina Drivers Measure Up

While most drivers know that car insurance quotes are determined in part by your personal driving history, many may be unaware that rates are also impacted by the average risk of the drivers around you as well. Check out Insurify's latest analysis of driving records in South Carolina below:

Methodology

Drawing from an internal database of over 4 million car insurance applications, the research team at Insurify analyzes patterns in car ownership and driver behavior - including how South Carolina drivers measure up to their fellow motorists across the United States in areas including speeding, DUIs, and more.
Insurify Insights publishes data-driven articles, trend analyses, and national rankings each week on all factors related to cars and those who drive them.

honda

Honda Accord

Most Popular Car in South Carolina

#4

State with the Most Speeding Tickets Rank

#3

State with the Moving Violations Rank

#39

State with the Most DUIs Rank

#30

State with the most Suspended Licenses

  • While car accidents are a sadly unavoidable feature of time spent on the road, rates of accidents do vary from city to city and from state to state. South Carolina is the #1 state in the country for drivers with an at-fault accident on their driving record.

    • Rank among states: #1
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with an accident: 12.6%
  • While driving while intoxicated is never acceptable, it’s a more common offense than many assume. South Carolina is the #39 state in the country for drivers with a prior drunk driving conviction.

    • Rank among states: #39
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with a DUI: 1%
  • Reckless driving refers to a specific traffic violation: when drivers willfully act dangerously in spite of the risks they’re imposing on both themselves and others. South Carolina is the #38 state in the country for drivers with a reckless driving offense on record.

    • Rank among states: #38
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with a reckless driving offense: 1%
  • The Insurify team classifies rude drivers as those who commit one or more of the following driving offenses: failure to yield or failure to stop, improper backing, passing where prohibited, tailgating, street racing, or hit-and-run. South Carolina is the #37 state in the country for drivers with a rude driving violation on record.

    • Rank among states: #37
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with a rude driving violation: 1.2%
  • Exceeding the speed limit can endanger others and have a serious impact on your insurance costs. South Carolina is the #4 state in the country for drivers with a speeding ticket on record.

    • Rank among states: #4
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with a speeding ticket: 12.3%
  • Failing to yield the right of way isn’t just frustrating for other drivers; it’s dangerous, too. South Carolina is the #9 state in the country for drivers with a failure to yield violation on record.

    • Rank among states: #9
    • Percent of drivers in South Carolina with a failure to yield violation: 0.2%
Insurify Insights

Insurify's team of data scientists and content specialists presents Insurify Insights, a series of automotive, home, and health studies focusing on the topics that impact us all. through expert analysis of over 4 million car insurance applications and an array of top data sources, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles, trend analyses, regional superlatives, and national rankings every week. See Insurify Insights as featured in Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, NPR, and more.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage." Accessed June 26, 2023
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make savvy financial decisions. She covered insurance and personal finance topics. You can find her work on Business Insider, Money Under 30, Rocket Mortgage, Bankrate, and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Chris Schafer
Edited byChris SchaferSenior Editor
Chris Schafer
Chris SchaferSenior Editor
  • 15+ years in content creation

  • 7+ years in business and financial services content

Chris is a seasoned writer/editor with past experience across myriad industries, including insurance, SAS, finance, Medicare, logistics, marketing/advertising, and many more.

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVice President of Engineering
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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