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Cheapest car insurance in Charleston, South Carolina (Jul 2024)

Compare 55+ insurance companies including Progressive, Travelers, AAA, Nationwide (and more!) to find the best and cheapest car insurance in Charleston, South Carolina.
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R.E. Fulton
Licensed Insurance Agent —Senior Content Writer
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Reviewed by Josh Damico, Vice President Insurance Operations
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Edited by Sarah Gray, Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor

How to find the cheapest car insurance quotes in Charleston

Drivers in Charleston,
South Carolina
pay an average of $148 per month for full coverage
car insurance
and $137 for minimum liability coverage.
The best way to find an affordable auto insurance policy close to or below the average rate in Charleston is to shop around. Comparing quotes from multiple providers ensures you’ll always find the best rates for the coverage you need.
Jerry
offers simple tools that have helped thousands of South Carolina drivers take control of their car insurance costs via quick quote comparison.
Insurance companyPremium (monthly)CustomerCarInsurance coverage
Progressive
$256
Chase, 21
Zip: 29412
Chevrolet Silverado C1500
• State Minimum Liability
Nationwide
$94
Frederick, 32
Zip: 29414
KIA Stinger GT
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Safeco
$181
Marion, 39
Zip: 29403
BMW X5 xDrive45e
• 250,000/500,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Allstate
$233
Essie, 31
Zip: 29406
Audi S4 Premium Plus
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Gainsco
$347
Birdie, 37
Zip: 29407
Chevrolet Cruze LS
• State Minimum Liability
coverageLast Updated Jul 10, 2024

Best car insurance companies in Charleston

No South Carolina car insurance company offers the cheapest rates for every driver—and the cheapest company isn’t always the best. Customer service, claims handling records, and the ease of sign-up also impact whether an insurance provider is a good fit for your profile. 
To help real drivers sort through insurers, Jerry conducted a vast nationwide insurance shopping survey—the largest in the United States—to target all the factors that matter to policyholders, from cost to customer satisfaction. We found that while big-name insurers like State Farm and GEICO often offer low prices, they tend to fare worse in customer ratings than smaller insurers like Auto-Owners, State Auto, and Travelers. 
Here’s how Charleston drivers ranked different insurance providers on a scale of 0 to 5. 
Insurance companyOverall ratingPriceClaims experienceCustomer service
Progressive
4.4
4
4.2
4.3
Geico
4
3
4
4.3
State Farm
3.9
3.4
3.2
3.9
USAA
3.8
3.5
N/A
4
Liberty Mutual
3.5
2.7
N/A
3.3
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How'd we get these scores?

Jerry's experts conducted one of the largest car insurance surveys in the United States. We surveyed 15,000 policyholders, in all 50 states, over the span of 18 months. These policyholders hold insurance policies with 87 different insurance companies. We surveyed policyholders to gauge their satisfaction with their insurance carriers in: policy cost, customer service, buying and renewal experience, as well as claim experience. These scores were all reported by real customers of the insurance companies.

Best cheap car insurance quotes in Charleston

South Carolina auto insurance requirements include liability insurance and
uninsured motorist coverage
. Sticking to minimum coverage means keeping your payments low—but it also leaves you exposed to serious financial risks. Let’s take a closer look at your cheapest options for low and full coverage policies in Charleston.

Cheap minimum liability insurance quotes in Charleston

State law mandates that all drivers in Charleston must have a car insurance policy that meets the following coverage limits: 
  • $25,000 of
    bodily injury liability
    per person
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 of
    property damage liability
    per accident
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person 
  • $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident 
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident 
South Carolina also offers the option to pay an annual $600 uninsured motorist fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of purchasing insurance, but driving with no coverage is extremely risky.  
If you’re comfortable with the risks of only carrying minimum coverage, Jerry has a great track record with finding affordable minimum coverage rates for Charleston drivers. 
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Warren (52 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29412)
$122
per month
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Jordan (34 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$77
per month
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Mitchell (48 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$153
per month
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Bertie (37 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29414)
carChevrolet Tahoe C1500
$169
per month

Do you need more than minimum coverage in Charleston?

The short answer is: probably. South Carolina’s car insurance requirements don’t provide enough liability coverage to protect you in the event of a serious accident, and your income and assets could be subject to lawsuits if you’re unlucky enough to get in one. 
Even more important, minimum coverage won’t pay for damage to your vehicle in most circumstances, including any cases of theft, vandalism, or weather damage. Upgrading your policy to include comprehensive and collision coverage along with higher liability limits won’t cost much extra—and it’s a real game changer when it comes to your financial situation. 

Cheap full coverage car insurance quotes in Charleston

Full coverage car insurance
is the gold standard when it comes to protecting your car, and it doesn’t need to break the bank. 
Comprehensive
and
collision coverage
, along with liability and uninsured motorist coverage, are key components of a full coverage policy. 
  • Collision coverage takes care of the repair or replacement expenses if your vehicle is damaged from an accident with another vehicle or stationary object
  • Comprehensive coverage helps cover the cost of repair or replacement if your vehicle is stolen or damaged due to non-collision incidents.
You’ll need these coverages to satisfy lender requirements if you have an active auto loan or lease, but they’re a good idea for anyone who can’t afford to replace their car out of pocket. 
Take a look at the full coverage rates Jerry’s found for Charleston drivers in the past. 
Insurance coverageInsurance companyPremium (monthly)CustomerCar
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Progressive
$136
Chase, 63
Zip: 29414
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Allstate
$233
Cordelia, 31
Zip: 29406
Audi S4 Premium Plus
• 500,000/500,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Nationwide
$124
Lillie, 33
Zip: 29492
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SE
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Travelers
$105
Louisa, 45
Zip: 29492
Nissan Altima 2.5
• State Minimum Liability
• Comp / Collision
Bristol West
$420
Adelaide, 37
Zip: 29407
Chevrolet Cruze LS
coverageLast Updated Jul 11, 2024
Working with an insurance broker like Jerry doesn’t just cut down on the legwork involved in finding a good car insurance policy. It’s also the best way to access insights from industry insiders, like our 100+ licensed insurance agents.
Lower my car insurance too!

Average cost of car insurance in Charleston

Jerry analyzed real insurance quotes from dozens of insurance providers in Charleston and found that the average cost of full coverage insurance is $148 per month, or $1,770 per year. Minimum liability coverage, on the other hand, costs an average of $137 per month or $1,642 per year. 
It’s important to remember that average rates are just that—averages! Half of the drivers in Charleston pay more than the average, while 50% of drivers can expect to find lower rates. Every individual’s insurance premiums are based on a wide range of personal factors, from vehicle type and ZIP code to age, claims records, and driving experience. 

Average cost of car insurance in Charleston by zip code

Your ZIP code is one of the most important factors insurance companies look at when setting your premiums. If you live in an area with a high rate of car accidents, auto theft, or other perils, you may see your rates reflect that higher risk. 
Zip CodeAverage State Minimum Coverage RateAverage Full Coverage Rate
29403
$134
$211
29405
$172
$232
29406
$121
$237
29407
$90
$173
29412
$91
$177
29414
$151
$167
29418
$159
$206
29420
$197
$235
29492
$86
$133

Car insurance quotes in Charleston by rating factors 

Car insurance companies
calculate rates
using the following key factors: 
  • Driving record: Having car accidents or violations on your driving history can prompt insurers to surcharge your policy to account for the added risk. 
  • Demographics: Your age, marital status, and even gender can impact how much you pay for insurance. 
  • Location: Where you live within Charleston shapes the risk associated with your driver profile. 
  • Mileage: Policyholders who don’t drive much pay a little less for coverage than regular drivers with heavy commutes. 
  • Vehicle: Small, safe SUVs tend to have the best rates, while sports cars and luxury rides cost more to insure. 
  • Credit: Good credit can keep your insurance rates low in South Carolina, where insurers are authorized to base your premiums in part on your credit history. 

How do different factors impact your car insurance costs in Charleston?

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Allowed (with applicable limitations): Gender, age, driving experience, credit history, education, occupation, employment status, marital status, zip code, insurance history
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Prohibited (or effectively prohibited): South Carolina currently does not disallow any common insurance rating factors when calculating insurance premiums.
Learn more about the car insurance rating factors in Charleston:

Cheap car insurance quotes in Charleston after driving violations

Your
South Carolina driving record
has an outsized impact on your car insurance costs. For insurance companies, an applicant’s driving record is a decent picture of the risk level they present. 
Some common violations that could increase your insurance rates include:
  • Speeding
  • DUIs
  • At fault accidents 
  • Reckless driving 
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • Driving without insurance

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston after speeding ticket

A speeding ticket might not have a huge impact on your car insurance rates—but repeated tickets or serious speeding violations will. A
South Carolina speeding ticket
typically raises car insurance rates for three to five years—and the faster you were going, the greater the impact on your rates. 
Speeding TypeInsurance CompanyPremium (monthly)CustomerCarInsurance Coverage
Speeding 1-5
Progressive
$183
Caleb, 33
Zip: 29407
KIA Optima LX
• State Minimum Liability
• Comp / Collision
Speeding 16-20
Safeco
$281
Gertrude, 35
Zip: 29406
Chevrolet Malibu LT
• State Minimum Liability
• Comp / Collision
coverageLast Updated Jul 8, 2024

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston after DUI

A DUI on your driving record is a more serious problem for car insurance premiums. In South Carolina,
DUI convictions
stay on your traffic record for 10 years and could raise your insurance rates for that entire period. 
If you have one or more DUIs on your record, it’s important to find an insurance provider that doesn’t unduly penalize these offenses. Jerry’s free quote comparison tool is a simple way to find rates like the ones shown below, which real drivers found through our app. 
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Lulu (31 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$317
per month
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Myrtle (53 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29420)
$90
per month
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Elsie (33 years old)
coverageCoverage
100,000 per person
300,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29412)
$186
per month
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Joshua (35 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29406)
$318
per month
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Marcus (29 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29492)
carJeep Grand Cherokee Laredo
$109
per month

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston after an at-fault accident

Causing a car accident signals to your insurance company that you’re a higher risk than drivers with a clean record. Expect to pay higher rates for at least three years after an at-fault accident. 
Below are some real quotes that Charleston drivers found through Jerry with an at-fault accident on their driving record.
Accident typeInsurance companyPremium (monthly)CustomerCarInsurance coverage
At Fault With Injury
Progressive
$93
Ina, 45
Zip: 29412
Toyota Corolla
• State Minimum Liability
At Fault With No Injury
Nationwide
$126
Charlie, 46
Zip: 29412
Toyota Camry Solara SE
• State Minimum Liability
• Comp / Collision
Not At Fault
Travelers
$165
Stella, 37
Zip: 29414
Toyota 4runner SR5
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
At Fault With No Injury
Safeco
$175
Marguerite, 60
Zip: 29407
Nissan Maxima S
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
coverageLast Updated Jul 11, 2024

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston after other driving violations

South Carolina insurance companies also penalize offenses like reckless driving,
driving without insurance
, or driving on a suspended license. 
No matter what your record looks like, Jerry can help you track down the lowest rates for your profile. 
ViolationInsurance companyPremium (monthly)CustomerCarInsurance coverage
Defective Equipment
Safeco
$74
Carlos, 34
Zip: 29403
Toyota Camry
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Failure to Obey Signal
Progressive
$146
Elsie, 26
Zip: 29406
Nissan Rogue Platinum
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Careless Driving
Nationwide
$163
Josephine, 38
Zip: 29414
Volkswagen Jetta GLI
• State Minimum Liability
• Comp / Collision
Driving on Sus. License
Gainsco
$215
Mina, 33
Zip: 29412
Hyundai Sonata GLS
• State Minimum Liability
Failure to Obey Signal
Travelers
$247
Devin, 29
Zip: 29492
Toyota Tundra Double Cab Limited
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
Improper Passing
Progressive
$124
Brent, 38
Zip: 29403
Lincoln Town CAR Signature
• State Minimum Liability
coverageLast Updated Jul 7, 2024

Cheap car insurance quotes in Charleston by age

Insurance companies prefer drivers with plenty of experience—which is why 16-year-olds pay more for auto coverage than any other group in Charleston. In general, drivers under age 25 pay elevated rates, as do seniors over age 75, while middle-aged drivers enjoy the sweet spot of low rates.

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston for young drivers

Teen drivers
pay the highest rates for car insurance, thanks to a statistically high rate of serious accidents and violations. As you gain experience behind the wheel, your rates should begin to drop, but expect to pay higher prices until around the time you turn 25.
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Chase (21 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29412)
carChevrolet Silverado C1500
$256
per month
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Bernice (24 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$169
per month
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Nannie (24 years old)
coverageCoverage
100,000 per person
300,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29406)
carChevrolet Silverado C1500
$192
per month
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Louisa (24 years old)
coverageCoverage
100,000 per person
300,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29406)
$213
per month
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Gainsco
Frederick (24 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29403)
$182
per month

Cheapest car insurance in Charleston for senior drivers

Most seniors pay the lowest rates for car insurance thanks to decades of experience. If you’ve maintained a good driving record over the years, your 50s and 60s should bring the lowest premiums of your life. 
But just like teens,
senior drivers
are at a higher risk of major accidents due to declining reflexes. Even if your record is generally clean, you may begin to see higher rates around your mid-70s to account for the rising risk of claims.
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Adeline (68 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29412)
$150
per month
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Florence (66 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29401)
carMazda Tribute LX
$69
per month
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Ada (67 years old)
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29406)
$101
per month
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Chester (76 years old)
coverageCoverage
15,000 per person
30,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$71
per month

Cheap car insurance quotes in Charleston based on insurance history

Insurance companies like to see a long, unbroken history of insurance coverage from prospective applicants. If you’ve had any
lapses in coverage
—even if you didn’t own a car at the time—your risk profile increases, and so do your premiums. 
The good news: Jerry can find great auto insurance rates for drivers whose insurance history isn’t perfect. Check out the quotes below to see for yourself.
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Virginia (63 years old)
Currently Insured
coverageCoverage
100,000 per person
300,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29414)
$136
per month
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Amy (39 years old)
Currently Insured
coverageCoverage
250,000 per person
500,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29403)
$181
per month
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Jane (31 years old)
Currently Insured
coverageCoverage
50,000 per person
100,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29406)
$233
per month
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Gabriel (32 years old)
Currently Insured
coverageCoverage
50,000 per person
100,000 per accident bodily injury
Comp / Collision
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29414)
$94
per month
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Paul (37 years old)
Currently Insured
coverageCoverage
State Minimum
locationCharleston, SC
(Zip Code: 29407)
$302
per month

Cheap car insurance quotes in for drivers with poor credit

South Carolina law permits the use of
credit-based insurance scores
, which allow insurance companies to base insurance premiums partly on drivers’ credit history. A poor credit score (below 550) could cause your rates to increase by over 100% compared to drivers with great credit (700+).
Credit RangeInsurance CompanyPremium (monthly)CustomerCarInsurance Coverage
> 750
Progressive
$136
Virginia, 63
Zip: 29414
Toyota Tacoma Double Cab
• 100,000/300,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
660 - 750
Safeco
$104
Grace, 30
Zip: 29403
Ford Escape Titanium
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
660 - 750
Allstate
$171
Emilie, 60
Zip: 29407
Nissan Maxima S
• 50,000/100,000 Liability
• Comp / Collision
550 - 659
Bristol West
$302
Curtis, 37
Zip: 29407
Chevrolet Cruze LS
• State Minimum Liability
< 550
National General
$157
Eleanor, 27
Zip: 29414
Chevrolet Spark LS
• State Minimum Liability
coverageLast Updated Jul 13, 2024

How to lower car insurance costs in Charleston

1. Shop around and compare quotes

Every insurance company uses a slightly different set of calculations to set the cost of car insurance coverage—and those rules change frequently! The result: the lowest rate is always a moving target in the world of car insurance. 
To hit that target, enlist help from Jerry. As a licensed broker and a smart shopping app, Jerry can help you quickly narrow down the cheapest quotes for your profile at any given time—and with our automatic reshopping feature, you’ll always known when you become eligible for lower rates.

2. Hunt for car insurance discounts

Every insurance company offers
car insurance discounts
, but the amount and terms of each discount vary from provider to provider. Be on the lookout for: 
  • Good driver discounts: Many providers offer a lower rate for drivers with no accidents or violations over a specified time period. 
  • Telematics discounts: If you download your insurer’s safe driving tracking app, you could win an automatic discount, with additional discounts for safe driving. 
  • Good student discounts: Are you a full-time student in either high school or college? Do you have a B average or better? You might qualify for a discount from your insurance company.
  • Bundling discounts: When you purchase
    homeowners and auto insurance
    (or auto and renters) from the same company, you’ll typically qualify for discount rates on both policies.

3. Increase your deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage

If your policy includes comprehensive and collision coverage, raising the deductibles on that coverage will lower your rates. But it will make it more expensive to file a claim, so make this decision carefully to ensure you’re not making your coverage useless!

FAQ

How much is car insurance in Charleston?

People living in Charleston pay on average $137 per month – or $1,642 per year – on state-minimum liability coverage. Full coverage in Charleston costs on average $148 per month or $1,770 per year.

What is the cheapest car insurance in Charleston?

Based on thousands of Charleston drivers Jerry has worked with, car insurance in Charleston costs an average of $137 per month for state-minimum coverage and $148 per month for full coverage.

What is the best car insurance in Charleston?

Allstate
Progressive
, and 
Nationwide
 receive good ratings from Charleston drivers, based on the largest car insurance survey in the nation conducted by Jerry. But no single company will be the best fit for every driver—comparison shopping can help you make the smart choice!

What is the minimum car insurance in Charleston, South Carolina?

The state-minimum car insurance in Charleston, South Carolina is $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for damage to property. These coverages are commonly referred to as 25/50/25 coverage.

Methodology

The Insurance Research Team analyzes insurance products and services to drive insights and help consumers make informed purchase decisions. 
Insurance research: We analyzed over 25 million car insurance quotes; conducted the largest insurance shopping survey (over 15,000 customers surveyed and 85 carriers reviewed in the past 18 months). 
We surveyed insurance policyholders for their experience with their insurers in the following areas: (1) insurance cost (2) customer service (3) insurance buying experience (4) insurance renewal experience (5) claim experience. In addition, we asked people what they like about their insurers and what areas in which their insurers could improve. The driver characteristics used in calculating average rates for auto insurance include: single driver, single car, currently insured, clean driving record.  
For the quotes and sold policies included in this article, please note that personal information has been hidden. Not all customers find savings. 
Team: The team consists of licensed insurance agents, insurance industry veterans, and data scientists.

Meet our experts

avatar
R.E. Fulton
badge icon
Licensed Insurance Agent —Senior Content Writer
R.E. Fulton is an expert insurance writer specializing in car ownership topics from car shopping and loan advice to insurance and repair guides. R.E.’s mission is to create unique and accessible content that helps readers to become more successful and independent car owners. R.E. has written and edited over 900 high-performing articles for Jerry, with an average of 1 million+ views.
As a senior writer on Jerry’s editorial team, R.E. draws on over 10 years of experience as a professional writer and digital publishing specialist. Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2021, R.E. worked as a writing coach at Columbia University, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and the University of Rochester. They serve as a managing editor for peer-reviewed history publication Nursing Clio, where their work has appeared regularly since 2015.
avatar
Sarah Gray
badge icon
Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.
avatar
Josh Damico
badge icon
Head Of Insurance Operations
badge icon
18+ Years Experience in Insurance
Josh Damico is Jerry’s vice president of insurance operations and a licensed insurance professional with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. Previously, Josh held executive roles at Geico, where he had vast regional oversight and leadership opportunities.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Medaille College, and has appeared on news channels including FOX and CBS to offer insurance expertise and tips to drivers across the country. His work has appeared in Business Insider, Kelley Blue Book, and Digital Insurance and been quoted in The Balance, GOBankingRates, and Inspiring Workplaces.
*Illustration only. For all the pricing information presented in this article (including various tables), please note that not all customers find savings and the information is for illustrative purposes only. Savings depend on type of car, location, policy features, driving history and other factors. Drivers who switch through Jerry save over $70/month on average.