Cheap Car Insurance in Charleston, SC

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 13, 2021

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Are you in need of cheap auto insurance in Charleston, SC? At, anyone could get the lowest priced insurance premiums close to them. To find free car insurance estimates available from the leading providers immediately, enter your zipcode in the quote box on this site.

What was once one of the 5 largest cities within the entire country, Charleston still maintains a prominent reputation not just within South Carolina, but the United States as a whole. Nicknamed “The Holy City” due to the abundance of picturesque churches, the city’s history of religious tolerance goes back to its original founding. Different publications have bestowed numerous awards on Charleston, including “best-mannered city” and “America’s Most Friendly”.

  • Fun fact: care for the guided tour? Because Charleston is #19 (29401) on the list of “Top 101 zip codes with the most museums in 2005”. Learn more about Charleston by visiting here.

Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in South Carolina

Driving legally in Charleston requires:

Coverage Requirements Most Common
Bodily Injury Liability 25,000/50,000 100,000/300,000
Property Damage Liability 25,000 50,000
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury 25,000/50,000 25,000/50,000
Medical Payments Not required 2,000
Collision Not required 250 deductible
Comprehensive Not required 250 deductible

Do you understand what all the different types of coverage are for? The state minimums listed above, for example, only pay out on claims for accidents you have caused, property damaged by your vehicle, or medical bills from being hurt by an uninsured motorist. Any other damage to your vehicle will be 100% your responsibility.

Most motorists in South Carolina typically have to pay around $110 per month or more for their insurance coverage. But did you know that Charleston drives can get covered for as little as $31/mo*? Keep reading, and we’ll show you how to find the right company who offers the most discounts for drivers like you.

Average Monthly Auto Insurance PremiumsLegend: Charleston Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 51015202530$29$31$31$32$34


Nationwide, Southern Farm Bureau, and Allstate are offering some of the best deals in Charleston right now. Those are some pretty well-established South Carolina companies, so it shouldn’t be too hard to look up their customer service records and see if their customer satisfaction ratings are as high as their rates are affordable.

Those that offer auto insurance policies consider many elements when determining quotes, such as driving experience, zip code, type of vehicle owned, miles driven each year, and current insurance coverage and limits. Also don’t forget that premiums will vary greatly between companies. To make sure that you’re still receiving the lowest-cost price, compare cheap Charleston auto insurance price quotes online.

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Major Car Insurance Factors in Charleston

While there are numerous ways in which your typical car insurance rate may be calculated. But not all of it is out of your control; there are actions you can take in order to influence which discounts you are eligible to get. The following are a few of these elements in greater detail:

Your Zip Code

If you’ve ever applied for car insurance before, you already know that your provider will ask you for the location where you plan to have your vehicle parked most often. They as for this information because car insurance is less expensive in non-urban locations due to the fact that fewer cars and trucks means a reduced chance that you’ll get into some sort of accident with another car. The populace of Charleston is 127,999 and also the common household earnings are $54,970.

Auto Insurance by Zip CodeLegend: Charleston Columbia Mount Pleasant North Charleston Rock Hill Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 510152025303540$29$31$32$39$29$31$37$35$42$31$31$37$39$39$31$32$37$40$39$32$34$33$44$40$34


Automotive Accidents

Any zip code with a high number of fatal accidents makes it riskier for you to be on the road. Insurance companies tend to charge higher rates in areas with high accident statistics to offset this risk. The fatal accident statistics for Charleston are in the chart below. If you think these numbers might be affecting your rate, call your insurance agent and ask about any Safe Driver discounts they might have.

Fatal Accidents in Rock Hill, SCLegend: Charleston Fatal accident countVehicles involved in fatal crashesFatal crashes involving drunk personsFatalitiesPersons involved in fatal crashesPedestrians involved in fatal accidents 246810121416181214415194


Auto Thefts in Charleston

Even in tiny cities or outlying towns, your prized vehicle may still be a target for auto theft. To help make it a smaller trouble for you, consider installing an anti-theft device on your current motor vehicle. Your actual car insurance provider might award you a significant discount in return! In Charleston, there were 162 auto thefts in 2013. Thankfully, Charleston is one of the few major cities in South Carolina where auto thefts aren’t a serious problem. Thanks to this, you might be able to save some money by lowering your Comprehensive coverage deductible (more on that later).

Basic vs. Comprehensive Auto PolicyLegend: Basic Coverage Comprehensive Coverage Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 153045607590105120$29$74$31$91$31$102$32$88$34$133


Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays a significant role in what you get charged monthly for your vehicle insurance. As this chart clearly demonstrates, having a poor credit score can almost double – or more – what you pay each month to remain insured.

Auto Insurance by Credit ScoreLegend: Excellent Credit Poor Credit Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 10203040506070$34$53$34$57$36$67$33$76$38Do Not Sell


Your Age

Studies have shown that inexperienced teenage drivers are more likely to get into an accident than older adults. Because of this, it costs much more to purchase automotive insurance for young drivers. If you are a teenager, ask your provider about Drivers Ed or Good Student discounts.

Auto Policy Age ComparisonLegend: 34 Year Old 17 Year Old Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 20406080100120140160180200$29$159$31$124$31$118$32$188$34$201


Your Driving Record

Do you have a fairly clean driving record? If so, then you can expect to pay substantially lower monthly rates for your automotive insurance. If you do have a minor violation or two, your rate will go up – but you may be able to reduce your premium with “Accident Forgiveness” and other similar discounts.

Driving violationsLegend: Perfect Record Minor Speeding Ticket DUI/Reckless Driving Major At-Fault Accident Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 510152025303540455055606570758085$29$43$59$52$31$44$36$45$31$49$59$71$32$44$44$48$34$57$86$67


Your Vehicle

You can get by with less coverage if you’re driving an economical car. But with luxury vehicles, you’re going to require more comprehensive coverage, which will yield higher monthly premiums. But there are ways to get discounts, even on luxury coverage.

Car Insurance by Make/ModelLegend: 2015 Honda Accord 2012 Porsche Boxster Spyder Nationwide Sothern Farm Bureau Allstate State Farm State Auto 153045607590105120135$29$123$31$100$31$133$32$108$34$141


Minor Car Insurance Factors in Charleston

These minor factors can also raise or lower your monthly insurance payments:

Your Marital Status

If you are part of a married couple, there’s good news: you can save money on your automotive insurance policies if you bundle them together. As individuals, however, you won’t save very much being married vs. being single.

Your Gender

This may be hard for some people to believe, but most companies don’t charge radically different rates for male or female drivers. In fact, many companies these days charge the exact same rate, all other things being equal.

Your Driving Distance to Work

The average amount of time it takes to get from one place to another in Charleston is about 17 to 21 minutes. Of those motorists who commute by themselves, approximately 72% will do so via their own truck or car. Another 6-13% will carpool, while up to 4% might walk.

Some companies pay lip service to your purpose for driving, as well as the miles you drive each year. However, when you analyze the data, most of these factors barely make a dent in your monthly premium – for example, there may be no more than a 4% difference between driving fewer miles for work and tens of thousands of miles for pleasure each year. However, business vehicles tend to have about 10-15% higher premiums than regular vehicles.

Your Coverage and Deductibles

Obviously, someone who only buys the state minimum mandatory coverage will pay less per month than a driver with additional coverage on their policy. If you feel you need more than the mandatory minimum coverage, but don’t want to pay expensive premiums each month, try raising your deductible. This is especially economical for safe drivers who don’t anticipate a need to file multiple claims.

Education in Charleston, SC

Almost 24% of the Charleston population has obtained a bachelor’s degree, while another one-fifth of the population has earned their high school diploma. Considering how many well-educated drivers there are in the city, you may already know that those with higher degrees often receive the lowest rates on their car insurance policies!

There are dozens of different colleges to pick from if you are searching for an advanced degree in Charleston. For a public education, students may want to look into Charleston Southern University or the College of Charleston. You may also be interested in the Medical University of South Carolina or the Charleston School of Law for a more specific career path. And for a technical degree, look no further than the Trident Technical College or the American College of the Building Arts.

Auto insurance is one of the most essential investments you can make as an automobile owner. You must be sure you obtain an honest, accountable organization who’ll follow through on their offers. A couple of auto insurance agencies usually are far better at this than others, and doing a thorough online search can help you divide the beneficial from the undesirable.

How We Conducted Our Car Insurance Analysis

*We calculated our average rate based on the following metrics: a married, 34 year old male with good credit, a 12-month history of maintaining auto insurance, a clean driving record, who owns his own home. Miles driven annually were based on the national average. The average rate was also calculated based on a financed 2015 Honda Accord with a pre-installed anti-theft device.


South Carolina Department of Insurance

South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

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