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The Best Cheap South Carolina Car Insurance for 2023

Updated Aug. 2, 2022
Kailey Hagen
By: Kailey Hagen

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Car insurance is key to protecting your personal finances. But with so many options, it isn't always easy to determine which company offers the best car insurance in South Carolina. Here's a closer look at which companies offer the cheapest rates for several common driver profiles.

  • Cheapest for typical drivers: American National Insurance
  • Cheapest for drivers with prior accidents: American National Insurance
  • Cheapest for drivers with prior speeding tickets: Geico
  • Cheapest for young drivers: American National Insurance
  • Cheapest for senior drivers: American National Insurance
  • Cheapest for drivers looking for minimum coverage: American National Insurance
  • Cheapest for drivers with poor credit: Nationwide

Cheapest for typical drivers

American National charges female drivers about $1,397 per year on average while men pay about $1,358 per year. This is based on the profile of 35-year-old drivers with clean records. American National's rates are quite a bit under the state average, which is $2,259 per year for women and $2,292 per year for men.

Other companies that offer some of the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina include:

  • Geico, where the average annual premium is $1,477 for female drivers and $1,496 for male drivers
  • Nationwide, where female drivers with clean records pay about $1,562 per year while males pay about $1,580 per year

Cheapest for drivers with prior accidents

American National also offered low-cost car insurance in South Carolina to adults with a single accident on their record. While the state average annual premium for these drivers is $3,189, American National policyholders only pay about $1,868 per year on average.

These companies also offer cheap car insurance quotes in South Carolina to drivers with an accident history:

  • State Farm, where drivers with one accident pay about $2,024 per year on average for South Carolina auto insurance
  • Travelers, which offers these drivers an average annual premium of $2,059

Cheapest for drivers with prior speeding tickets

Drivers with prior speeding tickets see their South Carolina auto insurance premium rise to $2,881 per year on average. But those who choose Geico can get coverage for about $1,496 per year on average.

The following insurers also offer cheap auto insurance in South Carolina to drivers with a single speeding ticket:

  • American National, where these drivers pay about $1,807 per year on average for South Carolina auto insurance
  • State Farm, which charges drivers with a single speeding ticket about $1,812 per year

Cheapest for young drivers

Young drivers pay a whopping $5,689 per year on average for South Carolina auto insurance. But teens who choose American National can get the same coverage for about $2,849 per year.

These insurers also make the list of the best car insurance companies in South Carolina for teen drivers:

  • Geico, where teens pay about $3,437 per year for South Carolina auto insurance
  • South Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance, which charges teens about $3,455 per year on average

Cheapest for senior drivers

Senior drivers only pay about $2,227 for South Carolina auto insurance, but those who choose American National could save about $1,000. Its average annual premium for drivers 65 and older is just $1,255 per year.

These insurers also offer affordable car insurance in South Carolina to seniors:

  • Progressive, where seniors pay about $1,486 per year on average
  • State Farm, where a 65-year-old driver's average annual premium is $1,504

Cheapest for drivers looking for minimum coverage

South Carolina minimum car insurance costs about $891 per year, but drivers who go with American National can get the same coverage for just $556 per year.

These insurers also offer cheap liability car insurance in South Carolina:

  • Geico, where minimum coverage costs about $593 per year on average
  • State Auto Insurance, which has an average annual premium of $613 for minimum coverage

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

Drivers with poor credit pay about $3,589 per year for South Carolina auto insurance, but those who go with Nationwide pay a more affordable $2,435 per year.

These companies also offer cheap South Carolina auto insurance to drivers with poor credit:

  • Geico, where drivers with poor credit pay about $2,511 per year
  • American National, which charges these drivers about $2,596 per year for South Carolina auto insurance

Average car insurance cost in South Carolina compared to the national average

How much is car insurance in South Carolina? That depends on several factors, including the driver's history, location within the state, vehicle type, and more. The table below shows how South Carolina's rates for several common driver profiles stack up to the national average.

Average Rate Category South Carolina National Average
Overall $2,712 $2,646
Young drivers $5,689 $5,988
1 accident on driving record $3,189 $3,092
1 speeding ticket on driving record $2,881 $2,766
Data source: The Ascent's analysis of standardized personas.

South Carolina auto insurance laws

Here are some South Carolina car insurance laws all drivers should be familiar with:

South Carolina is an at-fault state

In at-fault states like South Carolina, the driver who is found to be responsible for the accident pays for the medical bills for all parties involved. This is different from no-fault states where each driver bills their own insurer for medical expenses.

Consequences for driving without car insurance in South Carolina

Drivers who choose not to purchase South Carolina auto insurance must either pay a $550 annual uninsured motorist fee or risk the following consequences:

  • Suspension of driver's license
  • Suspension of vehicle registration with $550 reinstatement fee
  • Fines of up to $200 with an additional daily fine of $5 until adequate insurance coverage is purchased
  • Imprisonment of up to six months
  • $200 license and registration reinstatement fee

South Carolina minimum coverage requirements

Drivers in South Carolina must carry at least the following car insurance coverage:

Bodily injury liability

South Carolina drivers must have at least:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident

Property damage liability

In addition, drivers must have at least $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.

How to get cheap auto insurance in South Carolina

Drivers looking to score the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina should do the following:

  • Shop around: All insurers evaluate a driver's application a little differently, which is why they all offer different rates. The only way to know which will offer an individual driver the best rate is to get quotes from several companies and compare them side by side.
  • Grab all available discounts: While many insurers automatically apply discounts to qualifying drivers' premiums, there are some discounts drivers may need to opt into, like driver monitoring programs. Enrolling in one of these is one option for drivers willing to prove their safe habits.
  • Raise the deductible: Choosing a higher deductible usually reduces auto insurance premiums.

Other things to consider when looking for car insurance in South Carolina

Here are some other things drivers should know when searching for car insurance in South Carolina:

Drivers don't actually need insurance

South Carolina is one of the few states that doesn't mandate its drivers carry auto insurance. But it's usually a good idea to have it anyway. Drivers who skip it still have to pay a $550 annual uninsured motorist fee, and it's possible to get state minimum coverage for about the same amount with some companies. This is the better investment because then the driver will have some protection if they cause an accident, rather than paying for the whole thing out of pocket.

State minimum coverage has a lot of holes

South Carolina's minimum coverage doesn't include any coverage for the policyholder's vehicle. Drivers who don't want to get stuck paying for vehicle repairs out of their own pocket should consider adding collision and comprehensive insurance coverage to their policy as well. Collision coverage kicks in if the driver causes an accident or gets in a single-car accident. Collision coverage protects against animal-vehicle collisions, theft, vandalism, bad weather, and more.

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