The words "bargain" and "auto insurance" probably shouldn't be used together, specifically when trying to find the best car insurance rates for active military. Because it's so expensive, let's familiarize you with some things that have a considerable impact on insurance premiums, and see if you can take the bite out of your next policy.

For military personnel, one of the largest criteria that are looked at to help calculate the cost of insurance is where you choose to live. Cities with larger populations or higher claim trends like Goose Creek, Charleston, and North Charleston will most likely have higher rates, whereas areas with lower vehicle theft rates and fewer weather claims profit from lower rates.

The illustration below sorts the most costly cities in South Carolina for active military to purchase a policy in.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?
Rank City Annual Rate
1 Goose Creek $1,296
2 Summerville $1,290
3 Charleston $1,285
4 Florence $1,259
5 North Charleston $1,250
6 Sumter $1,215
7 Columbia $1,213
8 Mount Pleasant $1,189
9 Socastee $1,187
10 Myrtle Beach $1,174
11 Hilton Head Island $1,173
12 Saint Andrews $1,149
13 Rock Hill $1,135
14 Greenville $1,111
15 Greenwood $1,110
16 North Augusta $1,095
17 Anderson $1,094
18 Spartanburg $1,094
19 Aiken $1,086
20 Taylors $1,085
21 Mauldin $1,071
22 Wade Hampton $1,058
23 Simpsonville $1,050
24 Greer $1,045
25 Easley $1,024
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Price information shown is comparative as the specific South Carolina residence address can revise prices considerably.

The type of vehicle requiring coverage is probably the largest consideration when trying to find economical car insurance for active military. Vehicles with high performance engines, a lack of safety features, or an increased likelihood of liability claims will cost much more to insure than more economical and safe models.

The list below shows insurance prices for the most budget-friendly vehicles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for Active Military in South Carolina
Insured Vehicle Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V LX 4WD $811
Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon $878
Honda Odyssey EX W/Rear Entertainment $939
Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan $946
Volkswagen Jetta S 4-Dr Sedan $958
Toyota Tacoma X-Runner 2WD $1,007
Toyota Corolla LE $1,012
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $1,017
Toyota Prius $1,025
Chevrolet Malibu LTZ $1,034
Dodge Grand Caravan SE $1,039
Nissan Rogue SL AWD $1,076
Toyota RAV4 Limited 2WD $1,097
Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab 2WD $1,117
Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer AWD $1,125
Ford Edge Limited 2WD $1,152
Toyota Camry SE $1,154
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ Crew Cab 2WD $1,164
Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD $1,174
Ford Fusion SE 4-Dr Sedan $1,184
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Data based on single female driver age 30, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, safe-driver, homeowner, multi-policy, and claim-free. Prices do not factor in South Carolina location which can decrease or increase price quotes considerably.

By looking at the data, models like the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Elantra, and Honda Odyssey are a few of the cheaper vehicles to insure for military personnel.

Trying to find low-cost insurance is tough enough, and finding out which company offers the lowest-priced auto insurance rates for active military in South Carolina involves more quotes for comparison. Policy prices will probably be somewhat cheaper than the average rate in South Carolina attributed to the potential for less claims associated with selling coverage for military personnel. Reasonably-priced insurance should be easy to buy from many insurance companies.

Every auto insurer uses slightly different criteria for establishing rates, so we'll take a look at the auto insurance companies with the overall cheapest rates in South Carolina. It's important that you understand South Carolina auto insurance rates are based on many factors which can substantially decrease or increase the cost of having a policy. This price variability is why it is critical to do a thorough rate comparison when trying to get the lowest auto insurance quotes for active military. Insurance prices are calculated by many different factors and can increase or decrease at any time, so the cheapest option six months ago may now cost much more than other companies.

Find the Best Cheap Insurance for Military

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The Hartford normally has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $768 annually. USAA, Auto-Owners, State Auto, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual also are some of the cheaper South Carolina auto insurance companies.

In the above rates, if you have coverage with Auto-Owners and switched to The Hartford, you may realize an annual premium reduction of upwards of $339. Insureds with State Auto may save as much as $370 a year, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual insureds might reduce prices by as much as $518 a year.

To find the cheapest coverage for you, click here to begin a quote or feel free to get quotes from the companies below.

It's important to note that these policy prices are averaged across all types of insureds and vehicles and do not take into consideration a rate decrease for active military. So the insurer that is best for you may not even be in the list above. That emphasizes why you need to get auto insurance quotes using your own specific driver information and vehicle.

Full coverage rates compared to liability-only

Finding the cheapest auto insurance is the goal of most people, and an easy way to save on the cost of insurance for active military in South Carolina is to not buy full coverage. The example below visualizes the comparison of insurance costs with liability coverage only compared to full coverage. The rates are based on no tickets, no at-fault accidents, $100 deductibles, single marital status, and no policy discounts are applied.

Averaged for all ages 20 through 70, full coverage on your policy costs $2,179 per year more than just buying liability only. That touches on the question if you should buy full coverage. There is no set guideline of when to drop comprehensive and collision coverage on your policy, but there is a guideline you can use. If the annual cost of coverage is more than 10% of any settlement you would receive from your insurance company, then you may want to consider only buying liability coverage.

How to get discounts on South Carolina auto insurance

Insurance providers that offer coverage for active military may also provide special discounts that can lower rates by 25% or more if you meet the requirements. Larger auto insurance companies and a selection of discounts include:

The diagram below shows the comparison of auto insurance costs with and without policy discounts. The rates are based on a male driver, no claims or driving violations, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, full physical damage coverage, and $100 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the price with no discounts. The second bar shows the rates with safe-driver, claim-free, multiple policy, anti-theft, accident-free, and vehicle safety discounts applied. When discounts are applied, theaverage yearly reduction on auto insurance for active military is 28% or $601.

Your low-price policy may be costing you money

South Carolina auto insurance rates are impacted by many things that will increase or decrease the price you pay for coverage. Simply turning a year older, getting divorced, or getting a ticket for running a stop sign may generate price changes resulting in some rates now being more affordable than before. In addition to those changes, insurance companies change prices every year or even multiple times each year to help ensure profitability. An unexpected high level of claims can result in price increases, while lower claim levels may cause cheaper South Carolina car insurance rates.

The data below analyzes the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 35-year-old male driver with a clean driving record, no accidents, and great credit. Based on his personal profile, The Hartford may have the most affordable car insurance rates in South Carolina at $775 per year. This is $834 less than the average premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau round out the rest of the top five cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.

The chart below compares rates after we give the driver in the first chart an at-fault accident, a lower credit score, and an imperfect driving record. Since each auto insurance company has a unique approach for determining prices, comparing prices may result in a substantially altered list of affordable South Carolina car insurance companies as shown below.

National Grange Mutual now has the lowest price in South Carolina with Travelers, USAA, State Farm, and State Auto completing the list. This illustrates why drivers need to compare rates when trying to find the most affordable insurance rates for active military.

Car insurance prices are calculated by many risk factors and change frequently, so the most affordable company the last time you compared rates may now be quite expensive.

How to find economical auto insurance for active military in South Carolina

Below you'll find many thrifty ideas that can help drivers quote cheap coverage.

The last suggestion is certainly valuable, as was noted in the article above. Auto insurance prices fluctuate constantly, so don't be tentative to change insurance companies if you can save money. Loyalty to a specific company is fine, but it's not recommended if that stubbornness costs you potentially thousands of dollars a year. In just a couple of minutes you could shop around to find cheaper auto insurance for active military.