How Much Is Car Insurance in South Carolina? Rates by Coverage Level, Age, Driving History and Location

Drivers in South Carolina pay an average of $1,139 per year as their annual car insurance premium. This amount is lower than the national average of $1,424 by $285, landing South Carolina among cheaper states for average car insurance costs.

MoneyGeek’s research on the South Carolina car insurance rates also factored in coverage level, age, location and driving record. For this study, we collected quotes for a sample driver across multiple locations and car insurance providers.

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The average cost of car insurance in South Carolina is $1,139 per year. MoneyGeek reached this figure by averaging full-coverage quotes for a 40-year-old male driver with a clean driving history. The same sample driver would pay an average of $652 annually for state minimum coverage in South Carolina. Premiums for younger drivers, however, are typically much higher. For instance, a 16-year-old purchasing their own policy in South Carolina pays $2,855 annually, on average.

To ensure you understand how the cost of car insurance varies across different driving profiles, MoneyGeek analyzed the average cost in South Carolina based on all the important factors.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina: Summary

MoneyGeek analyzed average car insurance costs in South Carolina based on factors that have the most effect on these rates. If you stay in the state, your age and credit score will have the largest impact on how much you pay for car insurance.

To compare the average car insurance costs in South Carolina for different profiles, click below.

Average Costs of Car Insurance in South Carolina

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Why Are Car Insurance Rates Cheap in South Carolina?

Based on MoneyGeek research, South Carolina features cheap car insurance rates due to its low highway density and a lower percentage of uninsured motorists.

Having a low highway density reduces the likelihood of accidents, resulting in lower insurance rates. With the low number of uninsured motorists, you are more likely to be covered in accidents where the third party is at fault.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina: Full Coverage vs. Minimum Coverage

How much is car insurance in South Carolina? The cost of car insurance in South Carolina depends on the amount of coverage you purchase. According to MoneyGeek's data, drivers pay an average of $1,139 per year for a full coverage car insurance policy with 100/300/100 limits. Contrarily, a state minimum liability-only policy costs $652 per year on average — $487 lower than full coverage.

Your car insurance costs also vary based on the type of insurance you choose. A liability-only policy costs more than the state minimum liability-only policy but offers more coverage. A full-coverage policy usually has the most expensive rates and comes with the highest limits.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina by Coverage Level

Minimum vs. Full Coverage Car Insurance Costs in South Carolina - By Company

Car insurance rates vary among providers. In South Carolina, GEICO offers the cheapest full-coverage policy, at an average of $853 per year. GEICO also provides the cheapest liability-only coverage in the state, at $470 per year on average.

USAA is the second-cheapest provider in South Carolina, although it’s exclusively available to military members together with their families.

Nationwide delivers the most expensive liability-only policy on average at $761 per year. Progressive offers the most expensive full-coverage policy at $1,380 per year, on average.

Average Annual Costs of Car Insurance in South Carolina - By Company

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How Much Is Car Insurance in South Carolina by Age

Age significantly influences the cost of car insurance in South Carolina. Young drivers, who are more likely to cause accidents and riskier to insure, pay more on their premiums. Insurers consider first-time drivers less experienced and charge the same costs as young drivers, due to their increased risk on the road.

According to MoneyGeek’s analysis, a 40-year-old driver pays an average of $1,139 per year, while a 16-year-old pays $2,855 for their own coverage for a difference of $1,716 annually. To avoid paying such exorbitant costs, parents can add young drivers to their car insurance plans.

Average Costs of Full Coverage Car Insurance in South Carolina - By Age

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  • Age
    Annual Premium
  • $2,855
  • $2,772
  • $2,527
  • $2,598
  • $2,309
  • $1,813
  • $1,689
  • $1,510
  • $1,417
  • $1,386
  • $1,114
  • 40
    $1,139
  • $1,004

How Does Driving History Affect Car Insurance Costs in South Carolina?

Individuals with clean driving records in South Carolina pay less for car insurance than drivers with traffic violations on their profile. Insurers often consider drivers with violations as high risk and charge them higher car insurance prices.

On average, a driver with a clean record pays $1,139 per year. However, an individual with speeding tickets pays $1,363 on average, which is $224 higher. For severe traffic violations such as at-fault accidents or DUIs, you pay even higher rates.

By comparing quotes from different providers, you can find the most affordable rates for drivers with a bad driving record.

Average Costs of Full Coverage Car Insurance in South Carolina - By Driving History

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  • Driving Violation
    Annual Premium
  • Safe Driver
    $1,139
  • Speeding Ticket
    $1,363
  • At-Fault Accident
    $1,700
  • DUI
    $1,772

Credit Scores and the Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina

Your premiums for car insurance in South Carolina also depend on your credit score. Based on MoneyGeek's research on average costs, drivers with excellent credit pay $898 per year, while individuals with a good score pay $192 more.

Drivers with poor credit scores pay $1,858 — $769 more than the average rate for individuals with good credit. If you have a poor credit score, you can still secure the most affordable car insurance costs by comparing quotes between different carriers.

Average Costs of Full Coverage Car Insurance in South Carolina - By Credit Score

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  • Credit Score
    Annual Premium
  • Excellent
    $898
  • Good
    $1,090
  • Fair
    $1,342
  • Below Fair
    $1,568
  • Poor
    $1,858

How Much Is Car Insurance in Your City?

Car insurance costs differ significantly across states and from city to city. Per MoneyGeek’s research on average car insurance costs, the cheapest city in South Carolina is Charleston at $1,139 per year, while the most expensive is North Charleston at $1,237 per year.

Densely populated cities are more likely to have high car insurance rates, as well as those with a high chance of natural disasters and road accidents.

Average Costs of Full Coverage Car Insurance in South Carolina - By City

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Frequently Asked Questions About South Carolina Car Insurance Rates

Are car insurance rates high in South Carolina? Based on MoneyGeek's research, South Carolina is listed as a state with cheap car insurance. We've covered some frequently asked questions to provide a complete sense of car insurance costs in the state.

Methodology

MoneyGeek determined the average car insurance costs in South Carolina using quotes sourced in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. In this case, the sample driver is a 40-year-old male with a clean driving record and full coverage policy as described on our methodology page. Factors such as credit score, age, coverage amount and driving record may alter average rates.

MoneyGeek also collected data about the state’s highway traffic, uninsured motorists, theft rates and urban share of the population.

  • Highway traffic density was calculated from the 2019 data from the Federal Highway Administration.
  • Information on the percentage of uninsured motorists was collected from the 2019 Insurance Research Council data.
  • Urban share of population was derived from the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Motor vehicle theft rate information was obtained from the FBI Crime in the United States Report for 2019.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.