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Finding car insurance in South Carolina after a DUI

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Getting a DUI in South Carolina can cause your auto insurance premiums to increase by an average of $1,054 per year. While this is a steep increase, it is significantly lower than the national average annual increase of $1,662. Not only does car insurance generally go up after a DUI, but it can also become harder to find. Not all insurance companies are willing to insure drivers with DUIs on their records. It is not hard to understand why: Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year.

Because auto insurance is legally required in South Carolina, it can be helpful for people who have been convicted of a DUI or DWI to know how to find affordable coverage. Bankrate obtained average premium information from Quadrant Information Services for drivers with DUI convictions in South Carolina. Having this information may help you know what to expect from your insurance after getting a DUI and could help you find a more affordable policy.

DUI laws in South Carolina

Getting a DUI in South Carolina can lead to severe consequences, even if it is your first. For your first DUI, you can be fined up to $400 and imprisoned for up to 30 days. Your driver’s license can also be suspended for six months.

If you get a second DUI, the fine is $2,100 to $5,100, and the jail time goes up to a range of five days to one year. Your license could be suspended for up to a year. A third DUI can lead to a fine of up to $6,300, with jail time of up to three years and a two-year suspension of your license. The penalties are more severe if the third offense occurs within five years of your first DUI.

If you have a fourth DUI, the penalty goes up to five years of potential jail time and a permanent loss of your driver’s license. The penalties for your DUI offenses may be steeper depending on the severity of your situation.

How a DUI affects your car insurance in South Carolina

In South Carolina, a DUI increases your auto insurance by an average of 70%. While this may feel steep, it is quite a bit lower than the national average increase of 99%. Insurance is based on risk, and if you have been convicted of a DUI, insurance companies tend to view you as a high-risk driver. To compensate for the increased risk, the companies charge you a higher premium.

Pre-DUI Post DUI Percent increase
South Carolina $1,512 $2,566 +70%
National average $1,674 $3,336 +99%

Together with the fines, the increase in insurance costs can make the cost of getting a DUI relatively expensive.

Some insurance companies may deny you coverage altogether if you are convicted of a DUI or DWI in South Carolina. However, there are car insurance companies that work with high-risk drivers.

Finding car insurance after a DUI in South Carolina

If you are shopping for auto insurance in South Carolina after a DUI, it may be helpful to get quotes from a few different companies. This way, you can compare premiums to find the option that best fits your budget.

The table below shows some of the top car insurance companies for affordable auto insurance after receiving a DUI in South Carolina. Quotes will vary between customers and companies and the premium you pay may be higher or lower than these average premiums.

Car insurance company Average annual premium after a DUI
Progressive $2,067
USAA $2,126
State Farm $2,481
Auto-Owners $2,684
Travelers $2,906

Most insurance companies offer discounts, which could help to lower the cost of your insurance. Checking for discounts that you can take advantage of may help you to choose a company.

Frequently asked questions

How will a DUI in South Carolina impact my criminal record?

Depending on the circumstances, a DUI can have serious implications for your criminal record. DUI convictions are typically included on your criminal record and you may have to serve jail time for those convictions. In situations where you cause serious injury or death to another due to driving under the influence, you may face even more severe charges.

What is the best car insurance company if I have a DUI?

The best car insurance company varies between drivers, since everyone has different rating factors and needs. If you have a DUI conviction, it can help to focus on companies that work with high-risk drivers. Understanding what you want and need from a policy and getting quotes from several carriers could help you find a company that fits your needs.

How long does a DUI affect my insurance premiums?

Every company is different, but most companies surcharge for DUIs for three to five years from the conviction date. You can expect your premiums to remain higher than average during this time. Once your DUI is old enough that your company is no longer viewing it as a rating factor, you could see your premiums drop.

How much car insurance do I need?

The amount of car insurance that you purchase depends on a number of factors, including your budget, tolerance for risk and the value of your vehicle. If you have a loan or lease, you will likely have to carry full coverage. Talking to an agent about your specific needs could help you to determine how much coverage to purchase.


Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 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.

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

Written by
Joshua Cox-Steib
Insurance Contributor
Joshua Cox-Steib has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate,, The Simple Dollar,, and more. His work has also been featured on such sites as MSN and BBB (Better Business Bureau). His insurance writing career has spanned across multiple product lines, with a primary focus on auto insurance, life insurance, and home insurance.
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