The words "low-priced" and "auto insurance" really should not be used together, specifically when you are shopping around for the lowest insurance rates for 16 year olds. Because of the high cost, let's familiarize you with a few of the factors that have an effect on insurance rates, and find some ways to lower the cost of your next policy.

The vehicle model that is being insured is probably the most important factor in finding the cheapest coverage for 16 year olds. Vehicles with average performance, modern passenger safety features, or low incidents of liability claims will cost quite a bit less to insure than fast, unsafe models. The table below estimates auto insurance prices for the cheaper vehicles to insure.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for 16 Year Olds in South Carolina
Vehicle Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V LX 2WD $3,635
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $3,669
Honda Accord EX-L 4-Dr Sedan $3,892
Toyota Prius $3,927
Chevrolet Silverado LS Regular Cab 4WD $4,055
Dodge Grand Caravan SE $4,090
Ford F-150 STX Super Cab 4WD $4,125
Chevrolet Impala LS $4,278
Toyota RAV4 Sport 4WD $4,313
Ford Explorer Limited AWD $4,347
Ford Focus SES 4-Dr Sedan $4,501
Toyota Camry XLE $4,535
Ford Edge Sport 2WD $4,541
Toyota Tacoma X-Runner 2WD $4,535
Hyundai Elantra GLS 4-Dr Sedan $4,541
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4WD 4-Dr $4,566
GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE Extended Cab 4WD $4,570
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Data based on single male driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include safe-driver, and claim-free. Information does not factor in specific South Carolina garaging location which can affect insurance rates substantially.

Looking at the rates, we can infer that makes and models like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Honda Accord, and Toyota Prius are likely to be some of the most affordable vehicles to insure for new drivers. Rates will be higher anyway because there is more liability exposure for 16 year olds, but overall those makes and models will tend to have the lowest insurance prices possible.

Finding dependable, affordable insurance is hard enough, and figuring out which companies have the most affordable insurance rates for 16 year olds in South Carolina calls for even more diligence. Coverage prices will probably be much pricier than the average policy in South Carolina, with the higher price attributed to the added risk associated with offering coverage for new drivers, but reasonably-priced insurance may be available with a little diligence.

Each insurance company has a different formula to set policy rates, so let's begin by taking a look at the insurance companies that tend to be cheaper in South Carolina.

Cheap Insurance Rates for Teens

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Cheapest South Carolina car insurance ranked by price
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 The Hartford $752
2 USAA $1,015
3 Auto-Owners $1,107
4 State Auto $1,138
5 SC Farm Bureau Mutual $1,248
6 Southern Farm Bureau $1,248
7 National Grange Mutual $1,335
8 Travelers $1,343
9 State Farm $1,408
10 Progressive $1,594
11 Allstate $1,621
12 Encompass $1,691
13 Nationwide $1,760
14 Safe Auto $1,907
15 GEICO $2,001
16 Bristol West $2,493
17 Liberty Mutual $2,513
18 Safeco $2,771
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The Hartford generally has some of the lowest car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $752 a year. This is $857 less than the average premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, Auto-Owners, State Auto, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual also make the cut as some of the more affordable South Carolina car insurance companies.

In this example, if you have coverage with State Auto and switched to USAA, you could realize yearly savings of about $123. Customers with SC Farm Bureau Mutual could save as much as $233 a year, and Southern Farm Bureau policyholders might reduce rates by $233 a year.

To find the cheapest coverage for you, click here to get quotes or visit several of the following companies.

These policy rates are averaged for all drivers and vehicles in South Carolina and do not take into consideration a price increase for 16 year olds. So the car insurance company that has the lowest price for you may not even be in the top 18 companies in the list above. That is why you need to get quotes using your own personal information and vehicle type.

For new drivers, one of the largest components that help determine the price you pay for insurance is your address. Regions with larger populations or more claims like Charleston, North Charleston, and Summerville tend to have more expensive car insurance rates, whereas areas with lower vehicle theft rates and fewer weather claims have the benefit of cheaper car insurance.

The next table shows the most expensive cities in South Carolina for 16 year olds to purchase car insurance in.

How much is auto insurance in South Carolina?
Rank City Annual Premium
1 Charleston $1,285
2 Goose Creek $1,284
3 North Charleston $1,262
4 Florence $1,259
5 Summerville $1,252
6 Socastee $1,235
7 Columbia $1,225
8 Sumter $1,215
9 Mount Pleasant $1,189
10 Myrtle Beach $1,186
11 Hilton Head Island $1,173
12 Saint Andrews $1,149
13 Greenville $1,144
14 Anderson $1,127
15 Spartanburg $1,116
16 Greenwood $1,110
17 North Augusta $1,095
18 Rock Hill $1,091
19 Aiken $1,086
20 Wade Hampton $1,080
21 Taylors $1,053
22 Simpsonville $1,050
23 Greer $1,045
24 Mauldin $1,040
25 Easley $1,024
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Price information shown is comparative as vehicle location can raise or lower coverage prices noticeably.

The example below shows how choosing a deductible can influence yearly insurance costs when trying to find cheap insurance for 16 year olds in South Carolina. The costs are based on a married male driver, full coverage, and no discounts are applied.

The chart above illustrates that a 40-year-old driver could reduce rates by $238 a year by switching their comprehensive and collision coverages from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $360 by switching to a $1,000 deductible. Even younger insureds, like the 20-year-old category, can cut $794 or more just by choosing higher deductibles when buying full coverage.

If you do make the decision to raise your deductibles, it will be important to have enough savings set aside to enable you to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense that is associated with using high deductibles.

Responsible drivers pay cheaper South Carolina insurance rates

The easiest method to score low insurance premiums for new drivers is to drive carefully and avoid accidents and traffic citations. The example below shows how violations and at-fault fender-benders can increase insurance rates for each different age category. The costs are based on a single female driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, $100 deductibles, and no discounts are factored in.

In the previous chart, the average cost of a car insurance policy per year with no accidents and a clean driving record is $1,855. Get written up for one speeding ticket and the average cost increases to $2,102, an increase of $247 each year. Now get two accidents along with the one speeding ticket and the annual cost of insurance for 16 year olds in South Carolina goes up to an average of $4,170. That's an increase of $2,315, or $193 per month, just for not driving safely!

Comparison of full coverage and liability-only policies

Saving on insurance is the goal of most drivers, and one way to find cheaper insurance for 16 year olds in South Carolina is to not buy full coverage. The illustration below visualizes the comparison of annual premium costs with full physical damage coverage and with liability coverage only. The premiums assume a clean driving record, no at-fault accidents, $100 deductibles, marital status is single, and no additional discounts are factored in.

If the expense is averaged for all age categories, physical damage coverage costs $2,619 per year over having just liability coverage. A very common question is if paying for full coverage is worth it. There is no exact rule of when to phase out physical damage coverage, but there is a general guideline. If the annual cost of coverage is more than 10% of the replacement cost of your vehicle minus the policy deductible, then it might be time to consider dropping full coverage.

There are some situations where dropping physical damage coverage is not recommended. If you haven't satisfied your loan, you have to carry full coverage to protect the lienholder's interest. Also, if your finances do not allow you to purchase a different vehicle in case of an accident, you should not eliminate full coverage.

What aren't you shopping around?

South Carolina insurance rates are impacted by many things which can significantly increase or decrease the cost of having a policy. Improving your credit rating, buying higher coverage limits, or getting into an accident can trigger rate changes resulting in some rates now being much cheaper than others. In addition to those changes, companies amend pricing as often as every three months to adjust for heavy claims or excess profits. Larger than normal claims may result in high rates, while profitable underwriting may produce cheaper South Carolina car insurance rates.

To illustrate this example, the graph below shows which companies have the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 35-year-old male driver with a clear driving record, no claims, and a decent credit rating. If we look at prices based on his current risk factors, The Hartford offers the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina at $768 per year. This is $841 less than the average price paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual are the rest of the most affordable South Carolina auto insurance companies.

In this example, we will give the driver from the first rate comparison a chargeable accident, bad credit, and a couple of points charged on his driving record. Since every insurance provider uses a different method for setting prices, getting updated rate quotes could result in a slightly different list of affordable South Carolina car insurance companies as shown below.

National Grange Mutual now has the cheapest insurance rate in South Carolina with Travelers, State Farm, USAA, and The Hartford also being competitive. This shows why it is critical to perform a complete rate comparison to find cheap auto insurance rates for 16 year olds.

Auto insurance prices are influenced by many risk factors and can change substantially, so the most economical company three years ago may now not even be in the top five.