Best Cheap Auto Insurance in Charleston, South Carolina (2024)

Charleston drivers pay about 5.5% more on average for car insurance than the South Carolina statewide average monthly cost.

Jamie Johnson
Written byJamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
  • 6 years experience in personal finance writing

  • Featured on Credit Karma and Insider

Jamie is a meticulous researcher who has published 2,000+ personal finance articles. Her expertise is trusted by major brands like Bankrate and Rocket Mortgage.

Featured in

media logomedia logomedia logo
Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Updated February 14, 2024 at 7:34 AM PST

Save up to $717 by comparing quotes from the top 70+ insurance companies

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers
Advertiser Disclosure

At Insurify, our goal is to help customers compare insurance products and find the best policy for them. We strive to provide open, honest, and unbiased information about the insurance products and services we review. Our hard-working team of data analysts, insurance experts, insurance agents, editors and writers, has put in thousands of hours of research to create the content found on our site.

We do receive compensation when a sale or referral occurs from many of the insurance providers and marketing partners on our site. That may impact which products we display and where they appear on our site. But it does not influence our meticulously researched editorial content, what we write about, or any reviews or recommendations we may make. We do not guarantee favorable reviews or any coverage at all in exchange for compensation.

Why you can trust Insurify: Comparing accurate insurance quotes should never put you at risk of spam. We earn an agent commission only if you buy a policy based on our quotes. Our editorial team follows a rigorous set of editorial standards and operates independently from our insurance partners. Learn more.

Charleston drivers pay an average of $281 per month for auto insurance — slightly higher than the South Carolina average of $266. The historic city, situated where the Cooper and Ashley rivers converge into Charleston Harbor, draws ample visitors each year, and the added traffic likely contributes to the city’s higher car insurance costs.

USAA, Auto-Owners, and State Farm tend to offer the cheapest options for drivers in Charleston. You can also take action to lower your premiums and save on car insurance costs.

Quick Facts
  • South Carolina law permits insurers to consider your credit history when determining your rates.

  • Charleston drivers pay an average of $227 per month for liability-only auto insurance.

  • South Carolina requires all drivers, including those in Charleston, to carry at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, plus uninsured motorist coverage. 

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Charleston

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Cheapest car insurance companies in Charleston

Your specific financial situation and insurance needs will influence what company works best for you. The following table outlines the three cheapest options in Charleston, South Carolina, and who these companies work best for.

Best for cheap rates: USAA

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.3
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
880
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$59/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$96/mo

USAA offers the cheapest average auto rates in Charleston, but the company only sells insurance to active-duty, reserve, and retired military members and their families. The company provides liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage to its members.

The average cost of car insurance from USAA in Charleston is $67 per month for liability-only coverage and $98 per month for full coverage. However, you can save even more by bundling your policy with home or renters insurance. Plus, good drivers can take advantage of the USAA SafePilot program to save up to 30% on auto insurance.

Pros
  • Variety of available discounts

  • Highly rated mobile app

Cons
  • Coverage only available to military members, veterans, and their families

  • Gap insurance not available

They have stopped thinking about how today's financial strain is impacting their customers.

Darcy - November 26, 2023
Verified

Not satisfied with price hike even after lowering coverage.

Linda - November 3, 2023
Verified

Wonderful service, pricing, and care.

Robert - October 24, 2023
Verified
Read our USAA review

Best for classic-car owners: Auto-Owners

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.1
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
837
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$64/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$103/mo

Auto-Owners is only available in 26 states, including South Carolina. It’s the second-cheapest insurance company in Charleston and costs an average of $72 per month for liability-only coverage and $106 for full coverage.

The company offers quality coverage for drivers with different vehicle types. For example, the company provides insurance for classic cars. And, if you’ve modified your car to accommodate a wheelchair lift, the company can provide coverage.

Pros
  • Provides specialized coverage for classic cars

  • Wide variety of insurance products, with the option to bundle

Cons
  • Must contact an agent to receive a quote

  • Below-average claims satisfaction J.D. Power score[1]

I was pleased with the agent and for years the price, but now they have gotten too expensive for a person on a fixed income.

Mary - August 13, 2023
Verified

I was dropped because of two minor at-fault accidents in two plus years.

Zachary - January 8, 2023
Verified

You can work directly with an agent.

Guy - May 17, 2022
Verified
Read our Auto-Owners review

Best for teen drivers: State Farm

Compare personalized, real-time quotes
IQ Score
The Insurify Quality (IQ) Score uses more than 15 criteria to objectively rate insurance companies on a one-to-five scale. The Insurify editorial team researches insurer data to determine the final scores.
4.4
JD Power
J.D. Power data measures overall customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction based on a 1,000-point scale.
842
Liability Only
Liability-only insurance, sometimes called minimum-coverage insurance, pays for bodily injury and property damage to others in an accident the policyholder causes. It does not pay for the insured’s own damages.
$65/mo
Full Coverage
Full-coverage car insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage, and may include other optional coverages such as uninsured motorist coverage. Collision covers a policyholder’s repair or replacement costs in case of an accident. Comprehensive covers damages caused by non-accident events. The average quote displayed here reflects policies with the following coverage limits: $50,000 bodily injury liability per person; $100,000 bodily injury liability per accident; $50,00 property damage liability per accident; $1,000 collision deductible; and a $1,000 comprehensive deductible.
$106/mo

One of the best-known auto insurance companies in the U.S., State Farm provides an affordable option for Charleston drivers. The company offers more coverage options than most insurers, including roadside assistance, rideshare insurance, rental insurance, and underinsured motorist coverage.

The company has high customer claims satisfaction ratings and provides a seamless experience through its mobile app. State Farm is one of the best options for teen drivers; you can save up to 25% with a good student discount until you turn 25.

Teens with State Farm pay $109 per month for car insurance in Charleston.

Pros
  • Above-average claims satisfaction J.D. Power score

  • Best option for teenage drivers

Cons
  • Gap insurance not available

  • Low customer satisfaction rating

I am happy with their coverage. I just bought a new car, and my insurance quadrupled. YIKES.

Stacy - December 4, 2023
Verified

Friendly service.

John - December 4, 2023
Verified

Got insurance established fast.

Robert - December 3, 2023
Verified
Read our State Farm review

Cheapest liability-only car insurance in Charleston

If you purchase liability-only car insurance, your insurer will pay for damages to the other driver. Liability insurance covers the other driver’s medical injuries and vehicle damages but doesn’t cover you.[2]

Many people choose liability-only insurance to save money on car insurance. Here are the cheapest liability-only policies in Charleston, South Carolina.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$67
Auto-Owners$72
State Farm$74
GEICO$80
State Auto$106
Allstate$116
Safeco$118
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in Charleston

While liability coverage only protects the other driver, full-coverage insurance protects protects you as well. This policy typically includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

Full coverage is the best option for drivers who want the most protection possible — especially drivers with new or high-value vehicles. In fact, if you lease or finance your vehicle, your lender or leasing company will require you to carry full-coverage car insurance. Here are the cheapest full-coverage policies in Charleston.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$98
Auto-Owners$106
State Farm$109
GEICO$117
Travelers$161
Allstate$170
Nationwide$178
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Estimate your insurance costs

Select discounts that apply to you
Save 27%
Save 7%
Save 21%
Save 38%
Age
Credit Score
Are you insured
Your estimated deal

*Estimate based on a market average of rates provided to other users like you.

Select discounts that apply to you

Car insurance requirements in South Carolina

South Carolina drivers must carry liability and uninsured motorist coverage to legally drive in the state.[3] Here’s a breakdown of the state's specific minimum coverage requirements.

CoverageMinimum Requirements
Bodily injury liability$25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured motoristEqual to the minimum amounts of liability coverage (25/50/25)

If you want more than liability coverage, you should consider purchasing the following optional coverages:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Collision

    If you have a collision with another vehicle or object, this insurance covers your vehicle damages, regardless of fault.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Comprehensive

    This provides vehicle protection in the event of non-collision incidents, including damage from vandalism, theft, severe weather, and more.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Underinsured motorist

    Similar to uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist insurance protects you if you have an accident with someone who has insufficient coverage to pay for your medical expenses and vehicle damage.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an incident

People with a history of driving incidents can expect to pay more for car insurance than someone with a clean record. Driving incidents include at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, driving under the influence (DUIs), and other moving violations.

“Typically, a driver who incurs a speeding ticket or is involved in an at-fault accident will face a surcharge on their insurance premium for a minimum of three years,” explains Mark Friedlander, director of communications at the Insurance Information Institute.

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Charleston

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a speeding ticket

Speeding is a form of reckless driving that can lead to accidents, so if you receive a speeding ticket, your premiums will likely increase. A speeding ticket can stay on your record for three years or more.[4]

If you’ve received a speeding ticket, here are the cheapest insurers to choose from in Charleston.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$90
Auto-Owners$97
State Farm$100
GEICO$107
Hugo$134
State Auto$143
Allstate$155
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with an at-fault accident

At-fault accidents will cause your insurance premiums to increase even more than receiving a speeding ticket. When you’re involved in an accident, you have to file a claim, which makes you more expensive to insure.

If you’re involved in multiple accidents, your insurance company can decide not to renew your policy.[5] Here are the cheapest insurers for an at-fault accident.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$96
Auto-Owners$103
State Farm$106
GEICO$114
Hugo$143
State Auto$152
Allstate$166
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with a DUI

If you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in South Carolina, you’ll face fines and penalties. For example, you could receive a $400 fine and possible imprisonment for your first offense in South Carolina. Plus, you may have your driver’s license suspended for up to six months.[6]

A DUI is the most serious moving violation a driver could incur. “In South Carolina, a DUI stays on your motor vehicle record for 10 years,” says Friedlander. “That means you could be facing substantial costs for car insurance throughout that period.”

Here are the cheapest car insurance options after a DUI in Charleston.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$134
Auto-Owners$143
State Farm$148
GEICO$159
Hugo$199
State Auto$212
Allstate$230
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for seniors

In Charleston, seniors tend to pay lower rates, on average, for auto insurance than some younger drivers. Rates begin decreasing around age 35, but they do start to increase again around age 75. Here are the cheapest insurance companies for Charleston seniors.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$42
Auto-Owners$45
State Farm$47
GEICO$50
Hugo$63
State Auto$67
Allstate$73
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest car insurance for teens

Teen drivers typically pay the highest rates for auto insurance due to their inexperience driving. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 have a fatal crash rate nearly three times as high as drivers over the age of 20.[7]

Teenage drivers can save money on car insurance in a few ways. For example, you can get a discount for maintaining good grades, and staying on your parents’ car insurance will earn you lower rates.

Here are the cheapest car insurance companies for teen drivers in Charleston.

Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
USAA$99
Auto-Owners$106
State Farm$109
GEICO$117
Hugo$147
State Auto$156
Allstate$170
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Keep Reading: What Are the Best Cars for Teens to Drive?

Keep Reading: What Are the Best Cars for Teens to Drive?

How to get the cheapest car insurance in Charleston

With so many different companies available, it’s challenging to know which offers the best rates and coverage for your situation.

Here's how to get cheap car insurance in Charleston:

  1. Choose a higher deductible. A deductible is the amount you’ll pay before your insurance coverage kicks in on a claim. In general, setting a higher deductible results in lower insurance premiums.

  2. Bundle your policies. Most insurance companies will offer you a discount for bundling different insurance policies together. For example, you can save by bundling your homeowners or renters insurance with auto insurance.

  3. Take advantage of discounts. Always inquire about what discounts your insurance company offers. For instance, you may qualify for a low-mileage discount if you don’t spend much time on the road.

  4. Compare car insurance rates. The best way to save on insurance is by shopping around among different insurers.[8] You can use an online comparison tool to compare rates from multiple insurance companies at once.

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Charleston

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Charleston car insurance quotes by credit tier

Your credit score can either help or hurt your insurance premiums in Charleston because South Carolina law allows insurers to consider credit scores when evaluating your auto insurance application. Statistically, people with excellent or good credit scores are less likely to file an insurance claim. In contrast, a poor credit score indicates you’re more likely to file a claim.[9]

Here’s what you can expect to pay on average for full coverage in Charleston based on your credit tier.

Rates by Credit Tier

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Is car insurance more expensive in Charleston?

Car insurance in Charleston is pretty close to the state average. The overall average for Charleston residents is $281 per month, while the state’s overall average is $266. Car insurance rates can vary by city within South Carolina depending on that city’s rate of vandalism, theft, and accidents. Rates even vary by ZIP code.

Drivers in cities with higher rates of severe weather and insurance fraud tend to pay more for car insurance as well. Columbia is one of the most expensive cities to insure in South Carolina, costing 12% more on average than Charleston.

More cities in South Carolina

Here are eight South Carolina cities and how each one compares to Charleston.

CityAverage Monthly QuoteCompared to Charleston
Columbia$35212%
Conway$292-7%
Greenville$293-7%
Lexington$309-2%
Myrtle Beach$285-10%
North Charleston$306-3%
Rock Hill$279-11%
Summerville$311-1%
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Charleston car insurance FAQs

If you still have questions about finding car insurance in Charleston, the following information should help you navigate the process.

  • How much is car insurance in Charleston?

    The average cost of car insurance in Charleston is $281 per month. Drivers pay $221 per month for liability coverage and $315 per month for full coverage. Your average rates ultimately depend on your driving record, credit history, marital status, age, location, and more.

  • Who has the cheapest car insurance in Charleston?

    USAA, Auto-Owners, and State Farm provide the cheapest auto coverage in Charleston. On average, USAA customers pay $67 per month for liability and $98 for full coverage. Hugo, an on-demand insurer, offers the cheapest liability coverage, at $100 per month. Shopping around for coverage from different auto insurance companies is one of the best ways to find savings.

  • What are the best car insurance companies in Charleston?

    Based on IQ Scores, the best car insurance companies in Charleston are State Farm (4.4), USAA (4.3), and Auto-Owners (4.0). State Farm has an A.M. Best financial strength rating of A++ (Superior), solid claims satisfaction, and affordable coverage. State Farm drivers in Charleston pay $74 per month for liability and $109 for full coverage.

  • Is car insurance expensive in Charleston?

    At $266 per month, car insurance in Charleston is more expensive than the national average. Across the country, drivers pay $212 per month. Specifically, U.S. drivers pay $253 per month for full coverage and $170 for liability coverage. Drivers in nearby North Carolina pay much cheaper rates, at $104 per month.

  • How much car insurance do you need in South Carolina?

    The minimum liability insurance in South Carolina includes $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability and $25,000 per accident in property damage liability. Car owners also need to purchase uninsured motorist coverage with coverage levels equal to liability coverage requirements.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. J.D. Power. "Insurers Struggle to Manage Expectations in Auto Claims Process as Repair Times Increase, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed June 22, 2023
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage." Accessed June 22, 2023
  3. South Carolina Department of Insurance. "Automobile Insurance." Accessed June 22, 2023
  4. Insurance Information Institute. "Reckless Behavior on the Roads Is Dangerous —and Can Mean Higher Auto Insurance Rates for Drivers." Accessed June 22, 2023
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Do auto insurance premiums go up after a claim?." Accessed June 22, 2023
  6. South Carolina Department of Public Safety. "SC Laws Relative to Impaired Driving." Accessed June 22, 2023
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Teen Driver and Passenger Safety." Accessed June 22, 2023
  8. Insurance Information Institute. "Nine ways to lower your auto insurance costs." Accessed June 22, 2023
  9. Insurance Information Institute. "Credit and insurance scores." Accessed June 22, 2023
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson

Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based personal finance writer whose work has been featured on several of the top finance and business sites in the country, including Insider, Credit Karma, Bankrate, Rocket Mortgage, Fox Business, Quicken Loans, and The Balance. For the past six years, she's dedicated more than 10,000 hours of research and writing to more than 2,000 articles about personal finance topics.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

media logomedia logo

Compare Car Insurance Quotes Instantly

Secure. Free. Easy-to-use.
Based on 3,806+ reviews
4.8/5
Shopper Approved
ProgressiveLiberty MutualTravelers

Latest Articles

View all