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Last updated: December 19, 2023

Cheapest Car Insurance in South Carolina

The best rates by provider, driving record, credit score, and more.

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If you’re one of the 3.9 million drivers in South Carolina, you need liability insurance (property damage and bodily injury coverage) to drive legally. The state’s annual car insurance cost is $1,113 on average, which is slightly higher than the national annual average of $1,047. However, with the right information and preparation, you may be able to find quality coverage at a more affordable rate.

Read on to learn about how you can find the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina based on your coverage type, driving background, personal background, and more.

What is the Cheapest Car Insurance in South Carolina?

The cheapest car insurance in South Carolina depends on a number of factors that providers review to determine your rates. When insurers start appraising rates, they leverage things like your credit score, driving record, marital status, and ZIP code. Because different providers specialize in different types of coverage, you’ll find that the cheapest company will vary from person to person.

Direct Auto, for example, specializes in insurance for high-risk drivers. Although Direct Auto might offer the cheapest rates for someone with a DUI on their record, you can probably find a better offer if you don’t have a history of traffic violations, accidents, or claims.

Read on for a detailed look at the cheapest auto insurance companies, and look out for categories that highlight your unique background and driving experience.

Coverage Type

The more coverage you gain on your policy, the higher your insurance costs will be. In South Carolina, the cheapest rates you can find for both full and minimum coverage are well below the state averages. South Carolina’s state averages for full coverage and minimum coverage are $1,353 and $824, respectively.1

Coverage Type Company Annual cost
Full coverage American National $463
Minimum coverage American National $251

Cheapest Companies

As we mentioned above, companies offer different specializations and insurance types for a wide range of customers. Providers like GEICO and State Farm, for example, offer all-around low rates for most drivers. USAA, on the other hand, offers the best auto insurance for military members, veterans, and military families.

Speak to an agent, or call one of’s Perfect Policy Connectors to search for a plan and provider that fits your needs.

Company Full coverage annual cost
American National $463
USAA $780
GEICO $852
Auto-Owners $1,080
State Farm $1,104
Travelers $1,260

Driving Record

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that people with a bad driving record tend to pay more for car insurance. Even with the cheapest option, you can expect to pay more than the state average if you have a poor driving record. Here’s what those numbers look like for most drivers in the Palmetto State.

Driving record status Company Annual cost
Good driving record American National $721
Bad driving record State Farm $1,296

Unsure what constitutes a poor driving record? Here’s a list of things that can hurt your driving record and increase your car insurance premiums:

  • A history of claims
  • A history of accidents
  • Several points on your driving record
  • Moving violations
  • Serious driving offenses, like a DUI or hit-and-run
  • Traffic violations (like driving without a license)

Credit Score

South Carolina is one of 46 states that allow insurance providers to use credit scores in their appraisal process. If you have bad credit, you will probably have to pay more for car insurance. In some cases, insurance providers may even deny your application, refuse to renew your plan, or cancel an existing plan if your credit is bad.

Credit score Company Annual cost
Excellent credit USAA $796
Good credit USAA $907
Bad credit Travelers $2,342

Pro Tip:

Some providers offer insurance programs that don’t require a credit score check. You can ask for a non-credit-check auto insurance quote when you sign up for usage-based insurance programs like Allstate’s Drivewise or Progressive’s Snapshot.


Age is another key factor that car insurance companies use to set your rates. The varying rates across the spectrum of ages is a reflection of the probable risks associated with that age group. For example, teen drivers and young adults get into more accidents than any other age group on average. Those averages lead to higher annual insurance costs for younger drivers. Drivers in their 50s and 60s, on the other hand, tend to enjoy the cheapest rates in South Carolina.

Age Company Annual cost
16 American National $3,485
17 American National $1,834
18 American National $1,690
19 American National $1,108
20s American National $1,181
30s American National $621
40s American National $563
50s American National $544
60s American National $518
70s American National $598


Military members tend to have different needs from non-military drivers. If you are a military member deployed overseas, you might need to store your vehicle somewhere in the U.S. while you’re away. If you’re stationed out of state or out of the country, you might need additional car insurance for you or your family while living away.

If you’re part of South Carolina’s 500,000 military retirees, active military members, or military dependents, you should look into a policy with American National or USAA.2 Both companies offer affordable rates, unique military discounts (like vehicle storage savings), and other benefits that cater to military members.

Discount Provider Cost
Military American National $463
Veteran American National $463

Customer Service Score

J.D. Power rates insurance providers in the Southeast based on customer service quality, claims satisfaction, usage based insurance plans, and more. If you’re seeking the cheapest rates and highest-quality customer service, J.D. Power’s index is the place to look.

Company J.D. Power score (out of 1,000)3 Full coverage annual cost
American National N/A $463
USAA 876 $780
GEICO 828 $852
Auto-owners 816 $1,080
State Farm 847 $1,104
Travelers 818 $1,260


In South Carolina, insurance companies can use gender to determine your premiums. On average, men tend to have more DUIs, accidents, and traffic violations, which leads to higher rates for men across the country and in South Carolina, if only by a couple of dollars.

Gender Company Annual cost
Men GEICO $484
Women GEICO $482

The Best Car Insurance in South Carolina

Here’s a list of the state’s providers based on their statewide availability, rates, customer service scores, discounts, coverage options, and more. When shopping for insurance, it’s important to look at more than the provider and compare plans/rates to fit your situation.

  • Allstate
  • American National
  • Auto-Owners
  • National Grange Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safe Auto
  • Southern Farm Bureau
  • State Farm
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • USAA

Ways to Save

You can employ several strategies and take advantage of saving opportunities to bring down your premium. Here’s a comprehensive summary of what you can do today to lower your rates.

  • Lower your limits. Although we recommend $500,000 in liability and full coverage, this level of insurance may not be affordable for everyone. If you’re having a hard time finding an affordable plan, consider lowering your limits. Just keep in mind that the lower you set your limits, the more likely it is that you’ll have to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident.
  • Increase your deductible. Increasing your deductibles is a simple way to lower your monthly premium. For most providers, you’ll start seeing diminishing returns on premium decreases after you’ve hit a specific deductible threshold. For example, if a deductible increase from $1,500 deductible to $2,000 only yields you a few dollars off your premium, the savings may not be worth the risk of having to pay a costlier deductible.
  • Apply for usage-based insurance. If you’re a safe driver or a low-mileage driver, talk to your agent about a usage based insurance program. Insurance companies will track your driving, score your driving habits, and decrease your premium based on how well you drive or how little you drive. Keep in mind that if you exhibit poor driving habits or increase your monthly mileage, your insurance rates could increase.


South Carolinians drive about 11,600 miles per year. If you drive significantly less than this (less than 7,500 miles per year), you should strongly consider trying a pay-per-mile program.4

  • Bundle your insurance. Bundling is a great way to save by coupling two different insurance types under the same policy. Most providers offer discounts from 5 to 25 percent when you bundle home, auto, renters, or motorcycle insurance. Additionally, bundling makes it easier to review, make changes, and manage your plans from the same app or online account.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

To drive legally in South Carolina, you need the following limits and insurance types:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury coverage
  • $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist property damage
  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury, and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury

If you’re able to, we recommend increasing your limits to 500,000, tacking on full coverage (comprehensive and collision), and adding on as many additional coverage options as you need. Increasing your limits will ensure that you’re prepared to fulfill the financial responsibilities associated with most accidents and claims.

Alternative Car Insurance

In South Carolina, you can insure your own vehicles and avoid going through a provider. In order to become self insured, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You own more than 25 vehicles.
  • You have a net worth of at least $20,000.
  • You put up at least $3,000 in collateral.

DMV Info

  • URL:
  • Phone number: (803) 896-5000
  • Email:
  • Mailing address: 
    • SCDMV
    • P.O. Box 1498
    • Blythewood, SC 29016
  • Street address:
    • 10311 Wilson Blvd.
    • Building C
    • Blythewood, SC 29016


On average, American National, USAA, GEICO, and State Farm offer the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina. However, how providers set your rate will largely depend on your personal, financial, and driving background, which include things like your claims history, credit score, location, gender, and age. Be sure to shop around for the best rates, ask agents about the best ways for you to save, and take advantage of some of the best savings practices we presented above.


How much is car insurance per month in South Carolina?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, car insurance costs about $93 per month in South Carolina on average, which is about 6 percent more than the national average.

How much does car insurance cost after a DUI in South Carolina?

On average, car insurance rates jump from $1,113 to about $1,800 a year after a DUI in South Carolina. That’s a nearly 60 percent increase of your car insurance premium.

Which company offers the cheapest rates for seniors in South Carolina?

If you’re over the age 55, American National offers the cheapest rates in the state. However, AARP (The Hartford) is also available in South Carolina, and its policies come with some of the best discounts and benefits for older Americans.

Why is car insurance expensive in South Carolina?

One of the main reasons why car insurance is more expensive in South Carolina is the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage requirement. South Carolina is one of 20 states that require uninsured motorist coverage, which increases the average.


  1. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  2. South Carolina. Military State Policy Source. (2023).

  3. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Plummets as Rates Continue to Surge, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2023, Jun 13).

  4. Highway Statistics Series. Policy and Governmental Affairs Office of Highway Policy Information. (2021, Oct).