How Much Is South Carolina Car Insurance?

Ever wonder how much drivers in South Carolina pay for car insurance? Check out the average price that most people pay and see if you can find a cheaper rate.

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Affordable Car Insurance in South Carolina

With its Low Country, beaches, marshes, Blue Ridge Mountains, large glimmering lakes, and other striking features, South Carolina teems with natural Southern beauty. At the same time, cities like Charleston and Columbia offer a great deal of urban charm and excitement. There are lots of things to love about life in The Palmetto State.

However, auto insurance rates aren’t one of them. South Carolina consistently ranks in the top third of states for the highest average premiums. But residents need not be held hostage by high monthly payments! SmartFinancial instantly analyzes a variety of personal factors to deliver unbiased, carrier-neutral quotes to compare for coverage that’s just right for you.

Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates in South Carolina

Carriers look at multiple variables when determining your insurance rate. Your age, location, driving history, and state requirements are all factors in determining the price you pay. We used our in-house reporting to determine the companies that offer the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina. American National P came in with the lowest rate currently available in South Carolina at $42.67 per month. Followed by Auto-Owners Insurance Co at $78.66 per month and Safeco at $82.07 per month.

Lowest Rate

American National P

Highest Rate


Average Rate

South Carolina

RankCompanyAvg monthly rate
1 American National P $42.67 / month
2 Auto-Owners Insurance Co $78.66 / month
3 Safeco $82.07 / month
4 State Farm $89.32 / month
5 USAA $92.23 / month
6 Southern Farm Bureau $101.85 / month
7 Nationwide $120.24 / month
8 Allstate $141.37 / month
9 Liberty Mutual $177.13 / month
10 NatGen Value $179.96 / month
11 National Grange Mutual $180.37 / month
12 State Auto $223.39 / month
13 Encompass $231.47 / month
14 Safe Auto $245.60 / month
15 Bristol West $314.88 / month
16 AssuranceAmerica $350.04 / month
17 Dairyland $422.48 / month

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Car Insurance

If you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities you are likely paying some of the lowest car insurance rates available in South Carolina. According to our data, Waterloo comes in at the cheapest at only $80.05 per month. Other cities that made the top 10 list include Buffalo at $81.73 per month, Westminster at $89.97 per month, and Mc Cormick at $91.71 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Waterloo, SC$80.05 / month
2 Buffalo, SC$81.73 / month
3 Westminster, SC$89.97 / month
4 Mc Cormick, SC$91.71 / month
5 Gray Court, SC$93.26 / month
6 Iva, SC$93.37 / month
7 Pickens, SC$94.16 / month
8 Walhalla, SC$95.90 / month
9 Seneca, SC$96.09 / month
10 Central, SC$96.18 / month

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Car Insurance

These top 10 cities ranked as the most expensive places in South Carolina for car insurance. Location is a big factor when determining the price you pay for car insurance and these cities came in at the top. Gadsden is the most expensive city in South Carolina at $185.86 per month. Second and third place goes to Adams Run at $185.84 per month and Varnville at $174.98 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Gadsden , SC $185.86 / month
2 Adams Run , SC $185.84 / month
3 Varnville , SC $174.98 / month
4 Yemassee , SC $173.52 / month
5 Ridgeland , SC $169.71 / month
6 Ladson , SC $169.05 / month
7 Huger , SC $168.13 / month
8 North Charleston , SC $166.90 / month
9 North , SC $161.58 / month
10 Goose Creek , SC $161.24 / month

Average Quotes by Top Companies

Rates can vary wildly from company to company. Here is a quick look at a few rates from some of the top car insurance companies in South Carolina.

Compare Recent Car Insurance Quotes in South Carolina

SmartFinancial helps thousands of drivers every day find and compare the best car insurance rates available. Here is a list of some recent quotes that we recently found for drivers in South Carolina.

CompanyMonthly rateVehicle
ClearCover $582005 Chrysler 300C
Dairyland $382008 Acura Tl
Foremost Auto $702022 Jeep Gladiator
Everest $792013 Buick Regal
Infinity $542007 Nissan Quest
Everest $382007 GMC Yukon
Everest $1212014 Chevrolet Camaro
Metlife $622012 Chevrolet Malibu
Safe Auto $632011 Hyundai Sonata
Infinity $782019 Ford Fusion
General $1952022 Honda Pilot
Foremost Auto $862018 Mercedes Benz C


The statistics listed on this page are from our own in house reporting. We track and record quotes that carriers have provided based on various criteria. The rates and averages shown on this page should only be used as an estimate.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in South Carolina

Every state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of liability coverage. South Carolina drivers are required to carry liability insurance to pay for damages and injuries inflicted on someone else in an auto accident.


Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person


Bodily injury coverage per accident

Payment per person per accident for out of pocket costs due to injury


Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

The minimum limits of liability coverage for South Carolina drivers are $25,000 of bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident to cover two or more people. Drivers must also carry $25,000 property damage liability per by law.

South Carolina is a tort liability state. This means you can pursue a claim against an at-fault driver. However, the state also uses a comparative negligence system, which means you can be disallowed from collecting for the percentage you contributed to the accident.

Many drivers elect to carry more than the minimum car insurance coverage required by South Carolina law. For them, taking on additional coverage for more monetary protection gives greater peace of mind. And then there are many others whose vehicle financing lenders insist upon collision, comprehensive, or other coverages over the legal minimums.

Optional Coverage in South Carolina

  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Medical Benefits
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Gap Coverage
  • Vehicle Value Upgrade
  • New Car Replacement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Loss of Use
  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Rental Car
  • Travel Expenses

Your state’s minimum requirements may protect you against legal liability, but they may not be enough to protect your bank account should be involved in a serious accident. That’s why adding optional coverages to your policy makes sense. Some exclusions will apply.

South Carolina Car Safety

South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the country for drivers, ranking first for vehicular fatalities. This is due in part to drivers failing to obey traffic signals, refusing to wear seat belts, speeding, being careless, and operating their vehicles while drunk, according to an analysis of the NHTSA date for 2014. Additionally, the state’s large network of rural roads that lack shoulders contribute to the high number of automobile fatalities; 82% of traffic fatalities occurred on rural roads in 2014.

Car Safety for South Carolina Kids

South Carolina has strict car seat regulations to protect children from injury and death. In the state, children from birth to 1 year, or those weighing less than 20 pounds, must be properly secured in an approved rear-facing child safety seat.

Children ages 1 through 5 years who weigh at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds must ride in a forward-facing car seat. Children in this age group who weigh 40 to 80 pounds must be properly secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.

Children are not required to ride in a booster seat if they weigh more than 80 pounds or can sit with their backs against the seat and with their legs bent over the seat edge without slouching. However, children under 6, regardless of weight, cannot sit in the front passenger seat unless there are no available rear seats.

There are no statewide laws addressing leaving children unsupervised in a vehicle in South Carolina, but deliberately endangering a child is illegal. If there’s evidence you should have known that a child left unattended could become ill or die from temperature, kidnapping, or accidental injury, you could be charged with child neglect or child endangerment.

South Carolina residents are urged to never leave a child (or pet) unattended in a motor vehicle, even for a few minutes and even on a cool day in a safe location. If you encounter an unattended child who you believe is in danger, please call 911, provide a description of the vehicle, and wait with the child until help arrives.


Traffic fatalities in 2014


Total reported traffic collisions


Economic loss of traffic accidents, in billions of dollars

Driving Green in South Carolina

In a state brimming with natural beauty, it’s no wonder so many residents are mindful of their effects on the environment. Adapting to a greener lifestyle is increasingly common, and the state is keeping up by offering a variety of financial incentives for making more ecologically responsible choices.

Here are just a few ways green drivers in South Carolina can save some cash:


Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Tax Credit

South Carolina will give you an income tax credit of nearly $700 for buying or leasing a new plug-in hybrid vehicle; it may go as high as $2,000, depending on the kilowatt-hours of battery capacity. Learn more about the specifics of this offer on the South Carolina Department of Revenue website.


Hybrid, Fuel Cell, Alternative Fuel, and Lean-Burn Vehicle Tax Credits

If you claim a Federal income tax credit for a qualifying alternative fuel vehicle (AFV), advanced technology lean-burn vehicle, hybrid vehicle, or fuel cell vehicle, you may also claim a South Carolina state income tax credit. You can claim 20% of what you get as a Federal credit on your state taxes.


Car Insurance Discounts for Going Green

Many carriers give discounts to South Carolina motorists who drive an eco-friendly vehicle. Alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids, and economy cars are frequently eligible. Similar offers are often extended to those who keep their mileage (and accident risk) down as part of a greener lifestyle.

South Carolina Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in South Carolina?

Yes, South Carolina allows car insurers to use an insurance credit score when determining premiums. This insurance credit score is calculated based on several factors, including your credit, financial standing, and other risk factors.

Does South Carolina offer a good-driver discount?

Good drivers qualify for discounts in South Carolina, but the savings don’t stop there. Depending on your lifestyle, age, driving record, and policy management, you may qualify for several discounts that can add up to significant savings on your premium. Some of these discounts include:

  • Passive Restraint
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • New Car Discount
  • Economy Car Discount
  • Utility Discount
  • Farm Vehicle
  • Full Pay
  • Multiple Policy
  • Multiple Car
  • Senior Adult
  • Resident Student
  • Good Student
  • Safe Driver
  • Defensive Driver
  • Accident-Free
  • Home Ownership
  • Vehicle Safety

Does South Carolina allow the use of digital insurance cards?

South Carolina permits drivers to show proof of insurance digitally on a smartphone or other mobile device. This environmentally friendly law was passed, in part, to cut down on unnecessary mailings and paper. Drivers without the technology to show this form of proof must carry an insurance ID card in their vehicle.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

If your insurance lapses, your insurance provider will notify the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles electronically. You’ll then receive a letter asking you to verify new insurance within 20 days. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of your driver’s license, license plate, and vehicle registration.

If your coverage lapses and you’re unable to provide proof of insurance when pulled over, you may be issued a citation and subject to a fine or jail time. If you then fail to provide proof within 30 days, you may face an indefinite suspension of your driver’s license. Payment of a $100 fine is required to reinstate your license.

What are South Carolina’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s against the law to drive in South Carolina with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

In South Carolina, you can be charged with a DUI if your BAC is over the limit, even if your driving ability does not appear to be impaired. DUI convictions remain on your record for 10 years.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in South Carolina?

South Carolina law states that if you’re driving a motor vehicle, you have already given consent to a chemical test for the purpose of determining your blood alcohol levels. Refusing to take this test can result in the suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months for a first offense and 9 months for a second or third offense.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

You cannot plead down a DUI charge in South Carolina, even for your first offense. Penalties for driving under the influence depend on the number of previous offenses but may include license suspension, community service, jail time, installation of an ignition interlock device, and more.

Does South Carolina offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Many South Carolina insurance companies reward drivers who have voluntarily completed a driver improvement course. Find out what discounts your insurance company offers, then sign up for a state-approved course.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my South Carolina car insurance?

There are many ways to reduce your car insurance premium, both in the short and long term. Start by improving your credit score and maintaining a clean driving record, and then opt for higher deductibles and larger upfront payments when taking out a new policy. You can also save by asking for discounts, reducing coverage on older cars, and shopping around for the best rates and discounts.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in South Carolina?

Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in South Carolina. Insurers are required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage to protect against injury and property damage by an uninsured driver or hit-and-run driver, but you are not required to purchase this type of insurance.

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