The words "cheap" and "insurance" probably shouldn't be used together, especially when shopping around for the cheapest coverage for low income drivers. Because it's not cheap, let's open your eyes to a few of the things that influence insurance premiums, and find some ways to slash the price of the next policy you buy.

For poor drivers, one of the more important components that aid in calculating the cost of insurance is where you choose to live in South Carolina. Larger areas like Florence, Charleston, and Summerville will most likely pay more, whereas areas with less people or fewer weather incidents have the benefit of cheaper car insurance.

The information below lists the highest-priced places in South Carolina for low income drivers to purchase a policy in.

Car insurance prices in South Carolina
Rank City Average Per Year
1 Florence $1,311
2 Goose Creek $1,296
3 Charleston $1,285
4 North Charleston $1,262
5 Summerville $1,240
6 Socastee $1,235
7 Mount Pleasant $1,225
8 Sumter $1,215
9 Saint Andrews $1,195
10 Columbia $1,177
11 Myrtle Beach $1,174
12 Hilton Head Island $1,173
13 Greenville $1,144
14 North Augusta $1,139
15 Aiken $1,130
16 Greenwood $1,110
17 Rock Hill $1,102
18 Anderson $1,094
19 Spartanburg $1,094
20 Taylors $1,085
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Prices are comparative as the vehicle garaging location can raise or lower premiums significantly.

The car, truck, or SUV requiring coverage is one of the primary factors that determines whether or not you can buy the cheapest car insurance for low income drivers. Vehicles with economical engines, good safety features, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost quite a bit less to insure than fast, unsafe models.

The next table presents coverage prices for a handful of the cheaper vehicles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for Low Income Drivers in South Carolina
Vehicle Make and Model Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Ford Escape Limited 4WD $892
Hyundai Elantra GLS Touring Station Wagon $898
Dodge Grand Caravan SE $919
Honda CR-V EX 2WD $927
Chevrolet Silverado LS Regular Cab 2WD $970
Chevrolet Impala LT $972
Ford Explorer Limited 4WD $990
Toyota Prius $999
Toyota Camry XLE $1,025
Honda Odyssey EX-L $1,035
Ford F-250 XL 2WD $1,041
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid $1,064
Toyota RAV4 Sport 4WD $1,073
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Data based on single male driver age 40, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include multi-vehicle, multi-policy, homeowner, safe-driver, and claim-free. Premium amounts do not factor in South Carolina location which can impact premium rates greatly.

Looking at the data, makes and models like the Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Honda CR-V should be the cheaper vehicles to insure for poor drivers.

Deciphering which company has the cheapest car insurance rates for low income drivers in South Carolina calls for a bit more work in order to find the lowest price quote.

Each company has a different formula to establish rates, so let's examine the car insurance companies with the overall cheapest rates in South Carolina. It's a good idea to know that South Carolina car insurance rates are impacted by many factors that will increase or decrease the price you have to pay. Simply having a birthday, having a claim, or getting into an accident may cause policy rate changes that can cause some rates to be more affordable than competitors.

Lowest Insurance Price Quotes in South Carolina

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The Hartford normally has some of the most affordable car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $768 per year. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and Southern Farm Bureau also rank well as some of the cheapest South Carolina auto insurance companies.

As shown in the table above, if you are a customer of Auto-Owners and switched to USAA, you could see an annual premium reduction of around $82. Drivers with Southern Farm Bureau could save as much as $235 a year, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual policyholders might lower prices by $261 a year.

These policy prices are averaged for all insureds and vehicles and do not take into consideration a price discount for low income drivers. So the company that has the cheapest rates for you may not even be in the top 18 companies shown above. That points out the importance of why you need to compare rates from multiple companies using your own individual information.

Discount South Carolina auto insurance

Auto insurance companies that offer cheap quotes for low income drivers could also offer policy discounts that could lower prices by 40% or more if you meet specific criteria. Popular car insurance companies and a summarized list of policyholder discounts are shown below.

The illustration below visualizes the comparison of insurance prices with and without some available policy discounts. The data assumes a male driver, no claims, a clean driving record, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $1,000 deductibles. The first bar for each age group shows the average rate with no discounts. The second shows the rates with homeowner, safe-driver, vehicle safety, defensive driving course, accident-free, and multiple policy discounts applied. When taking advantage of discounts, the average amount saved each year on car insurance for low income drivers is 28% or $541.

The diagram below demonstrates how choosing different deductibles can raise or lower insurance rates when searching for cheap insurance for low income drivers in South Carolina. The premiums assume a single male driver, comprehensive and collision coverage, and no discounts are taken into consideration.

In the chart above, a 30-year-old driver could reduce rates by $428 a year by changing their physical damage coverage from a $100 deductible to a $500 deductible, or save $642 by using a $1,000 deductible. Youthful drivers, like the age 20 example, can save as much as $1,266 each year by choosing a higher deductible. If you do raise deductibles, it's a good idea to have additional funds squirreled away to be able to cover the extra out-of-pocket expense. This is the primary disadvantage of choosing high deductibles.

Impact of speeding/accidents on South Carolina car insurance rates

The obvious way to score cheap car insurance rates in South Carolina for poor drivers is to drive safely and not get tickets or have accidents. The illustration below illustrates how traffic citations and at-fault collisions drive up yearly insurance costs for each age group. The data is based on a single male driver, comp and collision included, $100 deductibles, and no additional discounts are factored in.

In the previous chart, the average cost of auto insurance per year with no accidents or violations is $2,666. Receive two speeding tickets and the average cost swells to $3,544, an increase of $878 each year. Now get two accidents along with the two speeding tickets and the 12-month cost of car insurance for low income drivers in South Carolina increases to an average of $6,633. That's an increase of $3,968, or $331 per month, just for a couple of infractions!