Temporary Car Insurance in South Carolina: The Cheapest Options and What You Need to Know

Most leading car insurance providers in South Carolina do not offer a temporary car insurance policy that lasts for less than six months. However, MoneyGeek found ways to create a temporary policy, whether you own a car and need a short-term solution or you don’t own a car and are only driving temporarily.

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Last Updated: 1/27/2022
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Car owners who need temporary car insurance in South Carolina can consider buying a six-month policy and canceling it before the term is over. MoneyGeek found that a three-month policy in South Carolina costs $285 per year on average.

For drivers who don’t own a car but need to drive in South Carolina or people visiting the state, rental car insurance could be a good option.

There are other unique scenarios that require a driver to get temporary car insurance, like working for a rideshare company or needing to file an SR-22. MoneyGeek looked into ways you could get temporary coverage in these instances.

Can You Get Temporary Car Insurance in South Carolina

Temporary car insurance can have different meanings across different states, including South Carolina. If you own a car and need insurance, you can buy a full policy and then cancel it early. If you don’t have a car but have to drive in the state, rental car insurance or non-owner car insurance could be the best option for you.

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HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY CAR INSURANCE IN SOUTH CAROLINA TO FIT YOUR NEEDS

You aren’t limited to a single option when getting temporary car insurance. MoneyGeek explains the different ways you can get short-term car insurance.

Buying a Six-Month South Carolina Insurance Policy and Canceling It Early

Leading auto insurance companies in South Carolina offer insurance policies in at least six-month terms, which cost $569 on average. A six-month car insurance policy is the shortest term you can get. You can buy a full policy and cancel it before six months are up to get temporary insurance. If you do this, you’ll get a refund on your unused policy period.

For instance, if you initially buy a six-month policy and then cancel it after three months, you’ll pay roughly $285, half of the initial cost.

Keep in mind that this technique can be tricky as it can cost additional unnecessary fees down the road if you have a lapse in your insurance coverage. Avoid a lapse to avoid extra expenses later on.

Cheap Temporary Car Insurance in South Carolina

MoneyGeek researched the average minimum car insurance cost by a company in South Carolina for a typical six-month, 90-day and one-month policy.

On average, you can get the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for 90 days from:

  • GEICO: $213 per 90 days
  • State Farm: $264 per 90 days

MoneyGeek did not add cancellation fees in these calculations. Most major auto insurers in the state do not charge cancellation fees and may provide full refunds of your unused term.

Annual Cost of Car Insurance in South Carolina by Policy Length

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Altering South Carolina Car Insurance Temporarily Depending on Your Needs

You can alter your car insurance policy if you need to temporarily add or remove coverage, and this can often be the easiest solution to adjust your coverage. Some of the common situations that require adjustments to an existing policy include teens going to school, storing vehicles or letting someone borrow your car.

When You Should Alter Your Policy Temporarily

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Insured drivers with kids going to school elsewhere in South Carolina can remove their students from their policy or request a discount.

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When you are storing a car, you may switch to comprehensive-only insurance and remove everything else. Military drivers can use USAA car storage discounts.

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If you are lending your vehicle to someone else and they are driving it regularly, you should add that person to your insurance policy.

Cheap Temporary Car Insurance for Students in South Carolina

If you live with your children in South Carolina, you need to add them to your auto insurance policy, which can be costly. Adding a young driver to your insurance policy in South Carolina costs an average of $2,628 per year.

Luckily, you can save money by taking your child off your policy if they go to school more than 100 miles away, using distant student discounts or keeping them on your policy.

If you choose to add your young driver to your policy for only two months during summer, you will have to pay approximately $438 as compared to roughly $2,628 for the full year. Allstate offers the biggest savings in South Carolina if you implement this strategy.

Annual Cost of Adding an 18-Year-Old to Car Insurance in South Carolina

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  • Company
    Adding 18-year-old for two out of 12 months
    Adding an 18-year-old for the full year
    Difference
  • $2,261
    $377
    -$1,884
  • $2,429
    $405
    -$2,024
  • $2,646
    $441
    -$2,205
  • $2,650
    $442
    -$2,208
  • $2,940
    $490
    -$2,450
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WHAT IF I CAN’T GET A DISCOUNT?

If your kid is living nearby and you don’t qualify for discounts or cannot take your child off your policy temporarily, shopping around might be your best option to save money. MoneyGeek compared the cheapest insurance companies for teens to help you get the best deal.

What to Do About Car Insurance if You’re Storing Your Car in South Carolina

If you’re planning to keep your car in storage for a while, you can save money by switching to comprehensive insurance or getting a vehicle storage discount.

You can get comprehensive and collision insurance with a $1,000 deductible for approximately $273 in South Carolina. Meanwhile, a policy with comprehensive and collision plus minimum liability insurance will cost you $833 on average.

For active military members, you can get a USAA car storage discount. They offer one of the cheapest policies in the state even before the discount, at an average of $926 per year.

What to Do If You Let Someone Else Drive Your Car

If someone else from your household is driving your car, they need to be insured on your policy. However, if the person borrowing your car lives outside your home, they will be covered by your existing policy. This means that there’s no need for any adjustment.

Buying Rental Car Insurance in South Carolina

If you’re temporarily renting a vehicle in South Carolina, you do not have to purchase a car insurance policy. You can get rental car insurance that includes basic liability coverage as well as the option to add other coverages, including supplemental liability insurance, damage waivers and personal accident insurance. If you add all of these, the policy may cost $44 to $58 per day, depending on the company. However, you can mix and match coverages to save money.

Finding Cheap Rental Car Insurance in South Carolina

MoneyGeek collected rental car insurance premiums from Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina rental car insurance that includes all protection, like supplemental liability, collision damage waiver and personal accident insurance, costs $44 to $58 per day. Avis charges around $44 per day, while Enterprise and Hertz charge roughly $54 and $58 per day, respectively.

If you want to save money, you should review your existing coverages from your auto insurer and credit card company. Many credit card providers offer collision damage waiver coverage for rental cars, while your regular insurance may provide coverage for liability, collision and medical payments.

Cost per Day of Rental Car Insurance in South Carolina

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  • Rental Company
    Total Insurance Cost
    Supplemental Liability Cost
    Collision Damage Waiver Cost
    Personal Accident Insurance Cost
  • Enterprise
    $54
    $13
    $35
    $6
  • Avis
    $44
    $17
    $27
    $0
  • Hertz
    $58
    $17
    $34
    $7

Buying Non-Owner Car Insurance in South Carolina

If you don’t own a car but need proof of insurance coverage, non-owner car insurance in South Carolina is your best option. It’s also the cheapest way to get temporary insurance if you need to file an SR-22, which is often required to get your license reinstated. The average cost of a non-owner car insurance policy in South Carolina is $507 per year.

How to Get Temporary Rideshare Car Insurance for Rideshare in South Carolina

Rideshare drivers are covered by insurance once they transport a passenger or accept a fare. However, a temporary gap may exist in the coverage during their downtime or if they don’t have a passenger. This is where rideshare insurance can be helpful.

Not all states have rideshare insurance policies. However, if you are looking for the best rideshare car insurance, MoneyGeek compares companies that offer this policy in South Carolina.

Frequently Asked Questions About Temporary Car Insurance in South Carolina

MoneyGeek has the answers to your questions related to temporary car insurance in South Carolina.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected car insurance and non-owner car insurance quotes from different insurers across South Carolina with the help of Quadrant Information Services. The policies were for a 40-year-old driver and full coverage as described on our methodology page. Costs for a student represent the average costs of adding an 18-year-old driver to a policy.

Note that numbers for the cost of one-month and three-month policies were calculated by MoneyGeek on a prorated basis, assuming a full refund from the insurance company. Rental car insurance costs in South Carolina were collected manually using the online tools of Avis, Enterprise and Hertz.

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.