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Average cost of car insurance in South Carolina for 2024

Updated Mar 30, 2024

In South Carolina, full coverage car insurance costs an average of $1,532 per year and minimum coverage costs an average of $524 per year.

How much is car insurance in South Carolina? 

In South Carolina, car insurance costs an average of $524 annually for minimum coverage and $1,532 for full coverage. These rates are notably lower than the average cost of car insurance in the U.S., which stands at $622 per year for minimum coverage and $2,014 for full coverage. Bankrate, leveraging its insurance expertise, has analyzed data sourced from Quadrant Information Services to provide these insights. It's important to recognize that individual car insurance costs can vary widely, though. Factors such as your ZIP code, age, driving history, the type of vehicle you own and the specific coverage and limits you select play a pivotal role in determining your insurance premium.

Key takeaways

  • In South Carolina, drivers pay an average of $128 per month for full coverage car insurance and $44 per month for minimum coverage.
  • Young drivers tend to pay higher rates than older drivers, with 18-year-old males having the highest average premium at $5,121 per year for full coverage.
  • Twenty-year-olds on their own policy pay $1,000 more annually for full coverage than those on their parents' policy.
  • A DUI conviction in South Carolina can nearly double full coverage premiums.
  • Drivers with excellent credit pay around $1,700 less annually for full coverage than those with poor credit.

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South Carolina car insurance rates by city

South Carolina car insurance rates vary by city, too. Urban areas tend to have higher average rates since more vehicles on the road means a higher chance of getting into an accident. Additionally, the cost of living — and thus the cost of claims — tends to be higher in more populated cities.

South Carolina city Avg. monthly full coverage premium Avg. annual full coverage premium Percentage change from SC avg. annual full coverage premium
Charleston $133 $1,599 4%
Columbia $129 $1,543 1%
Goose Creek $132 $1,587 4%
Greenville $120 $1,435 -6%
Greer $116 $1,390 -9%
Mount Pleasant $124 $1,492 -3%
North Charleston $138 $1,660 8%
Rock Hill $123 $1,481 -3%
Summerville $135 $1,621 6%
Sumter $133 $1,593 4%

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Average car insurance costs by age and gender in South Carolina

Age also plays a role in car insurance rates in SC, with younger, less experienced drivers paying the most. Drivers in their 50s and 60s pay the least per year, on average. Gender matters, too. Males tend to pay higher premiums than females due to their increased statistical likelihood of getting into an accident.

The table below shows the average costs for male and female drivers across a range of ages. Note that 16-year-old driver rates reflect adding a teen driver to their married parents’ policy since minors can’t enter into binding contracts.

Age Avg. full coverage premium in South Carolina Avg. min. coverage premium in South Carolina
Age 16* $3,354 $1,206
Age 18 $5,121 $1,703
Age 20 $3,726 $1,196
Age 25 $2,026 $656
Age 30 $1,623 $540
Age 40 $1,549 $520
Age 50 $1,411 $492
Age 60 $1,372 $482
Age 70 $1,497 $556

*16-year-old calculated on parents' policy with discounts applied; 18- and 20-year-old are renters on their own policies with no discounts applied

Age Avg. full coverage premium in South Carolina Avg. min. coverage premium in South Carolina
Age 16* $3,015 $1,129
Age 18 $4,251 $1,494
Age 20 $3,044 $1,048
Age 25 $1,811 $625
Age 30 $1,582 $545
Age 40 $1,515 $528
Age 50 $1,402 $496
Age 60 $1,355 $484
Age 70 $1,453 $541

*16-year-old calculated on parents' policy with discounts applied; 18- and 20-year-old are renters on their own policies with no discounts applied


Bankrate’s take: Insurance companies often consider gender when determining car insurance rates. Statistically, certain age groups — particularly younger male drivers — have higher incidences of speeding, accidents and DUIs, which insurers perceive as a heightened risk. These statistics can lead to men typically receiving higher quotes than women. However, as drivers age and their driving records start to outweigh gender-based trends, this gap in rates usually decreases.

Cost considerations for young drivers in South Carolina

If you’re under the age of 18, you’re not legally an adult and can’t buy your own car insurance in most cases. You’ll likely have to be added to your parents’ or guardians’ policy. Older teens and young adults can buy their own policy, but if they’re still members of their parents’ households, it usually makes more financial sense to stay on the family policy (if able). Doing so generally results in a cheaper car insurance premium than if the young driver were to buy their own coverage. For example, 18-year-olds pay nearly $2,000 more on their own policy versus remaining on their parents’ policy.

Age Avg. annual premium for drivers on their parents' policy in SC Avg. annual premium for drivers on their own policy in SC Percent difference
Age 16 $3,184 N/A* N/A*
Age 17 $2,945 N/A* N/A*
Age 18 $2,725 $4,686 72%
Age 19 $2,425 $3,713 53%
Age 20 $2,283 $3,385 48%

*16- and 17-year-old drivers must be on their parents’ policy.

How does driving record impact the cost of car insurance in South Carolina?

How much car insurance is in South Carolina can vary, especially for those with a less-than-perfect driving history. Your record has one of the biggest impacts on your car insurance premiums. A single speeding ticket could increase your full coverage rate by an average of 18 percent in SC. A DUI conviction — one of the most severe infractions you can have — could nearly double your premium. Maintaining a clean driving record is one of the best ways to keep your rates steady over time.

The table here shows the average car insurance cost in South Carolina for several different types of driving incidents.

Driving incident Avg. annual full coverage premium in SC Percent increase from SC avg. annual full coverage premium
Clean driving record $1,532 0%
Speeding ticket conviction $1,806 18%
At-fault accident $2,197 43%
DUI conviction $2,980 95%

The table above compares driving records with different incidents and highlights how much, on average, these incidents tend to raise rates.

Car insurance rates in South Carolina by credit score

Like most states, South Carolina allows insurers to use your credit rating to help determine your car insurance premiums. Statistically, drivers with lower credit ratings tend to file more claims, which makes them a higher risk for insurers and results in higher premiums. For example, drivers with poor credit pay 93 percent more than drivers with good credit, while drivers with excellent credit pay 18 percent less.

Credit tier Avg. annual full coverage premium in SC Percent change from SC avg. annual full coverage premium
Poor $2,950 93%
Average $1,675 9%
Good $1,532 0%
Excellent $1,251 -18%

South Carolina car insurance rates by vehicle type

Your vehicle make and model also has a large impact on your car insurance rates in South Carolina. Vehicles that cost less to repair or replace, are less likely to get into accidents or have safety features that help mitigate the likelihood or severity of accidents may cost less to insure. On the other hand, vehicles that cost more to repair or replace generally have higher car insurance costs.

Vehicle Avg. annual full coverage premium in South Carolina
BMW 330i $1,944
Ford F-150 $1,291
Honda Odyssey $1,278
Toyota Camry $1,532
Toyota Prius $1,608

*Rates reflect full coverage policies.

Estimate your car insurance cost in South Carolina

Understanding the potential cost of car insurance in South Carolina can be challenging given the variety of influencing factors. To simplify this process, Bankrate offers a convenient calculator tool. By providing some fundamental details, you'll receive an estimated insurance premium. While it's not a precise quote, it can serve as a valuable reference to aid in your financial planning.

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How to save on car insurance in South Carolina

When shopping for car insurance in South Carolina, there are a few ways you may be able to save on costs. Finding affordable auto insurance rates may be harder if you have a ticket, accident or DUI on your record, but using these tips may help you get cheaper coverage:

  • Do an annual review: If you have not reviewed your car insurance policy within the last year, you could be leaving valuable savings on the table. Review your policy with your insurance agent to make sure your coverage still fits your needs and budget.
  • Get multiple quotes: If you do not want to change coverage but want more affordable car insurance rates, shopping around for quotes and switching carriers may be the way to go. Compare the same coverage types and limits to know which car insurance company offers the best rates for the coverage you need.
  • Increase one or both of your deductibles: Full coverage car insurance has two deductibles: one for comprehensive and one for collision. The higher your deductibles are, the lower your car insurance rate will likely be — but that does not mean it is the best option for everyone. If you choose to go with a higher deductible, make sure you can pay the full amount out of pocket in case you have to file a claim.
  • Know rates before you buy a car: One mistake people can make when purchasing a new (or new-to-them) car is focusing only on the monthly car loan payment and not factoring in the cost of car insurance. When shopping for cars, get quotes to compare different makes and models to determine what you can truly afford.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Most car insurance discounts are stackable so the savings can really add up if you qualify for several. By bundling auto and home, allowing the insurance company to track your driving habits with a telematics program or paying your premium up front and in full, you may be able to reduce your car insurance rates.

Frequently asked questions

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Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit-based insurance scores: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base) and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. Four states prohibit or limit the use of credit as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket and single DUI conviction.

Model: To determine cost by vehicle type, we evaluated our base profile with the following vehicles applied: BMW 330i, Ford F-150, Honda Odyssey, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry (base).

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 16-70 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16- or 17-year-old teen to their 40-year-old married parents' policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy unless otherwise noted.

Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Editor, Insurance