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Cheapest Car Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina’s treasures have a lot to offer to cure its residents and visitors from any boredom. Whitewater rafting down the Chattanooga, hiking through the Southern Appalachians, surfing at Myrtle Beach or taking some historical tours of the first state to declare its independence from England makes the perfect fix for a case of the doldrums. Driving through the state is a pleasure with its coastal forest, mid-Atlantic climate and rolling farms. Taking a drive through the state should be on everyone’s list. Now has taken the worry out of the drive by gathering the state’s many car insurance facts and consolidating them to this convenient, essential list.


Walking along a meandering boardwalk through Paris Island State Park, one must stay on the trail to enjoy the beauty around. South Carolina’s driving laws and regulations take similar care, so all the important facts from all over the state have been brought here to help South Carolinian’s find their way through the forest of driving laws and regulations.

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in South Carolina

  • The South Carolina Department of Insurance has made it mandatory to insure vehicles with Liability Insurance.
  • Liability minimums:
    • $25,000 for each person injured.
    • $50,000 for each injury accident.
    • $25,000 for each accident in which property is damaged.

New Driver Licensing Requirements

  • South Carolina’s DMV informs its new residents they have 90 days to obtain a state driver’s license from the date of residency. Drivers transferring a valid out-of-state license must surrender their license and take the vision test to hold a South Carolina License. The state has 3 steps for new drivers who wish to have driving experience prior to getting their license:
    1. Beginner Permit. The most common type of this permit, and the following licenses, is the Class D Drivers License.
    2. Conditional License for 15 year old drivers
    3. Special Restricted License for 16 year old drivers
  • A helpful brochure that outlines the underage driver license process in detail can be found at the South Carolina DMV’s website.
  • Beginner Permit. Drivers wishing to hold this permit must follow these guidelines:
    • The applicant must have reached the age of 15 and have passed the vision and knowledge tests. More information on these tests is included below.
    • If under 18 years old, the applicant must have a parent or legal guardian’s consent.
  • Restrictions applied while holding this permit include:
    • The permit holder may drive between 6am and midnight only if a licensed driver age 21 or older who has held a license for at least 2 years is with him/her.
    • The applicant may drive during the restricted times only if a parent or legal guardian occupies the front seat next to him/her.
    • If under 17, a driver education course must be successfully completed
    • If under 18, the applicant must log 40 hours of driving with 10 night time driving hours included.
    • The permit must be held for a minimum of 180 days.
  • Conditional License (15 Year Old Drivers). After meeting the requirements for the permit, applicants may pass the road skills test and qualify for the Conditional License. This license is restricted in the following ways:
    • The applicant may drive alone between 6am and 6pm.
    • Driving between 6pm and 6am requires the presence of a licensed driver age 21 or older.
    • The driver may not transport more than 2 unrelated passengers under age 21.
  • Special Restricted License (Age 16): This license is available once the applicant turns 16 and has held the conditional license for 180 days. The only difference is that the applicant may request an exemption from the driving time restrictions. For information on exemptions, refer to the SCDMV website.
  • Once all the requirements are met and the applicant has turned at least 17 years old, application can be made for the regular South Carolina Driver License.
  • Vision Screening. No visual field limits are outlined, and applicants must demonstrate at least a 20/40 visual acuity with or without corrective lenses to pass. South Carolina offers multiple restrictions for varying visual acuities.
  • Knowledge Test. A practice test is available at the SCDMV’s website, and the information for the test is taken from the South Carolina Driver’s Manual. The manual is available online by chapter. Driving knowledge as well as an understanding of traffic signs, rules and markings is needed to pass the test.
  • Road Test. Access the chapter titled Cars: The Road Test in the driver’s manual for a complete explanation of the following skills tested in this exam:
    • Parallel Parking
    • Stopping Smoothly and Stopping at Stop Signs
    • Backing
    • Turning Around
    • Proper Clutching if applicable
    • Approaching Corners
    • Yielding the Right of Way
    • Stopping and Starting on Grades
    • Turning
    • Passing
    • Maintaining Good Posture
  • Failing the road test results in a 2-week waiting period before becoming eligible to re-take the exam. Upon the third failure, the waiting period is extended to 60 days.
  • Fees. The following fees are included for every driver:
    • Knowledge Test: $2.00
    • Beginner’s Permit: $2.50
    • Driver’s License valid for 5 years: $12.50
    • Driver’s License valid for 10 years: $25.00


  • BAC limit: .08 South Carolina Law (SCCLS § 56-5) provides strict punishment for DUI convictions in the state. South Carolina Department of Public Safety has created a DUI prevention program entitled Sober or Slammer, and the website clearly explains the consequences of a DUI conviction in the state.
  • First Offense:
    • Jail: 48 hours to 30 days
    • Fine: maximum $400 (assessments and surcharges often reach $992 which is payable by the driver)
    • License suspension: 6 months
  • Second Offense:
    • Jail: 5 days to 12 months
    • License suspension: 1 year
    • Fine: $2,100 to $5,100 (assessments and surcharges often reach $10,744 which is payable by the driver)
  • Third Offense:
    • Jail: 60 days to 3 years
    • License suspension: 2 years
    • Fine: $3,800 to $6,300 (assessments and surcharges often reach $13,234 which is payable by the driver
  • Upon a fourth or subsequent offense, the driver’s license suffers a permanent revocation and 1 to 5 years imprisonment.

Texting & Driving Laws

South Carolina has banned novice drivers and bus drivers from all cell phone use, according to Also, no driver may use his/her cell phone to text while driving.

Unique Laws

After 2 centuries of making laws, some of South Carolina’s ordinances may have gone out of date. Take, for instance, the law that requires every man to bring his rifle to church on Sunday to ward off possible Indian attacks. In Fountain Inn, all horses in the city are required to wear pants, and the driver of a motor vehicle is required to stop at a four-way intersection, exit his/her vehicle and fire a round in the air before preceding through!


Best Cheap Car Insurance Quotes for South Carolina

Greenville County Car Insurance

Home to South Carolina's largest city and largest school system, Greenville County is located on the northern border of North Carolina and is part of the 10-county region known as "Upstate." The county seat of Greenville is a fast-growing city roughly halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte on Interstate 85.

Since Greenville is the largest city in the Upstate area, it is a cultural center, with four independent live theaters as well as event venues and areas. The Falls Park on the Reedy features the Liberty Bridge, a pedestrian suspension Bridge over the Reedy River. Annual events include the Spring Artisphere, Euphoria Greenville, Big Fandom Greenville and Indie Craft Parade.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

Richland County Car Insurance

Named for its "rich land," Richland County lies in the South Carolina's Midland region, and is the second most populous in the state with an estimated 407,000 residents. Its county seat, Columbia, is also the state capital.

Columbia has the country's oldest continuously operating community theater, Town Theatre, and also the only free-standing theater in the country devoted entirely to marionette arts, the Columbia Marionette Theatre. Tourist attractions include the Riverbanks Zoo, Congaree National Park, South Carolina State Museum and Lake Murray.

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Charleston County Car Insurance

Along the Atlanta coast is South Carolina's largest county by area, Charleston County. The county and its seat of Charleston is known for well-preserved architecture, Civil War history and Southern hospitality, receiving titles such as "America's Most Friendly City" from travel magazines.

The coastal county experiences mild winters, hot summers and plenty of rain and humidity. With 90 miles of beaches, it is a popular tourist destination with a large number of luxury hotels. One of its oldest, the Lodge Alley Inn, is still open. Top attractions include Fort Sumter National Monument, Middleton Place, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and the Aiken-Rhett House.

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Spartanburg County Car Insurance

Home to nearly 300,000, Spartanburg County is South Carolina's fourth most populous, located at the state's northern border. Its seat is also named Spartanburg, located about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Not long after its incorporation in 1831, Spartanburg became known as Hub City due to its rail line access. Its historical Magnolia Street Train Depot remains open as an Amtrak station. Popular with visitors are the Hub City Railroad Museum, and the Hub City Farmers Market. Spartanburg is also the location of the annual Retrofest, the world's largest Disco Festival, held on the first Saturday in February.

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Horry County Car Insurance

Pronounced "O'Ree," Horry County is South Carolina's easternmost, and home to the popular destination, Myrtle Beach. Its county seat, Conway, a town of about 16,000 and home to Coastal Carolina University, about 90 miles north of Charleston.

Its most well-known community, Myrtle Beach, attracts an estimated 14 million visitors per year, though its own population is about 27,000. It is separated from the mainland by an intra-coastal waterway. Its "grand strand" is a tourist hub and there are amusement parks, concert venues, an aquarium and retail developments such as the Grand Coastal Mall in addition to its beaches. Myrtle Waves is one of the largest water parks on the East Coast.

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Lexington County Car Insurance

Named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington, Lexington, S.C. and its county seat of the same name are a suburb of the state's capital and largest city, Columbia. The county is home to the 50,000-acre Lake Murray, a reservoir created in the 1920s for hydroelectric power.

The world's largest man-made reservoir when it was finished in 1930, Lake Murray remains a regional focal point as a power source and recreation area. The area is occupies was once populated, spawning many stories of what lies at the bottom. The Dreher Shoals Dam Walk is a popular running, biking and strolling spot for locals.

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York County Car Insurance

A suburban county of the North Carolina City of Charlotte, York County lies at the northern border of South Carolina. Accessible via Interstate 77, it is considered part of the Charlotte metro area. Its county seat is the small town of York, home to an estimated 8,000. Its largest city, Rock Hill, is a 25-mile drive from Charlotte, home to about 67,000.

York County's Historic Brattonsville District can be seen in the film, "The Patriot." Its three structures were built between 1776 and 1855 by the Brattons, a prominent local family. The Carowinds theme park is the only gated amusement park to be located in two states, North and South Carolina.

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Berkeley County Car Insurance

Berkeley County is a northern suburb of Charleston, part of which lies within its southernmost section. Its largest city without county lines is Goose Creek, a town of about 36,000 that dates back centuries despite it being established as a city in 1961.

A popular destination for nature lovers and used in many major films, Cypress Gardens is located in the county seat, Monck's Corner. It includes a butterfly park and "swamparium" with live fish, amphibians and reptiles. Old Santee Canal Park was once an early Native American trading post, and is now a 195-acre park. Other popular spots for visitors are Mepkin Abbey, a community Roman Catholic monks, and the Stony Landing House and Plantation.

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Anderson County Car Insurance

A growing commercial and tourist hub, Anderson County is home to Lake Hartwell, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project featuring nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline. The county seat, Anderson, nicknamed the Electric City since it was one of the first in the Southeastern U.S. To have electricity.

One of the Southeast's largest and most popular recreational lakes, Lake Hartwell is bisected by Interstate 85. Water sports, fishing, boating and camping are popular, as well as spots such as the Rock Quarry, Ghost Island, Eighteen Mile Creek and Issaqueena Dam.

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Beaufort County Car Insurance

A collection of coastal communities, Beaufort County is one of South Carolina's fastest growing. Its two separate segments are connected by South Carolina Highway 170 over the Broad River Bridge. Nearly 40 percent of the county's 923 square miles is water.

The county seat, Beaufort, was the chosen home and likely the setting inspiration for "Prince of Tides" author Pat Conroy. It is also where much of the film, "Forest Gump," was shot. Cities in Beaufort County also include Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Lady's Island. Some of the county's many islands are unincorporated communities.

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid

County Sedan Suv Coupe Truck Hybrid
York$780.00$620.00$744.00$815.00$774.00 Methodology

Car insurance quotes are for one car and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 40 years old, female, married, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no moving violations, accidents, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicles are assumed to be garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Car insurance quotes include commonly available discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.

Average Car Insurance Premiums

Fluctuating above and below the national average for several years, South Carolina’s auto insurance premiums as a percentage of income have remained consistently above the national average for the last several years.

Drunk Driving Fatalities

South Carolina’s drunk driving fatalities rose steadily between 2010 and 2013. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports the state’s fatalities fell in 2014, putting them more in line with the national average.

Teen Drinking and Driving

South Carolina’s teens were found to drink and drive in more frequently than the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Vehicular Theft in South Carolina

Declining moderately in 2012 and 2013, the FBI reported that South Carolina’s auto theft rate remains well above the national average.

Cheap Car Insurance understands you work hard for your money so, why spend more on your affordable auto insurance. Here is a list of some of the car insurance discounts that will help keep your hard-earned money in your pockets:

  • Multi-car insurance discount
  • Good student discount
  • Military discount
  • Car safety features discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Bundling your auto with home or renters
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Usage or low-mileage discount
  • Senior citizen discount
  • Mature driver discount

Insurance discounts may vary by state so, contact us today to see if you qualify for any of these car insurance discounts!

Driver RatingBest Rate Option
Good driversAllstate
Young driversAllstate
Drivers with poor creditGeico
Drivers with one at-fault crashFarm Bureau
Retired driversFarm Bureau
Drivers with a military affiliationUSAA


State Department of Insurance

South Carolina Department of Insurance 1201 Main St. Suite 1000 Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 737-6160 Get Directions

Department of Transportation

South Carolina Department of Transportation 955 Park St. Columbia, SC 29201-3959 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368) Get Directions

Department of Motor Vehicles

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles 10311 Wilson Blvd. Building C Blythewood, SC 29016 (803) 896-5000 Get Directions
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