For teen drivers, one of the more important criteria that are looked at to help calculate the price you pay for insurance is where you normally keep your vehicle in South Carolina. Regions with larger populations or more claims like Goose Creek, Summerville, and Sumter are more likely to have higher rates, whereas more rural areas benefit from lower prices.

The following table ranks the highest-priced areas in South Carolina for 17 year olds to buy auto insurance in.

How much does car insurance cost in South Carolina?
Rank City Annual Rate
1 Goose Creek $1,296
2 Charleston $1,285
3 Summerville $1,278
4 Florence $1,272
5 Sumter $1,252
6 North Charleston $1,250
7 Mount Pleasant $1,225
8 Socastee $1,223
9 Columbia $1,213
10 Myrtle Beach $1,186
11 Saint Andrews $1,184
12 Greenville $1,144
13 Hilton Head Island $1,139
14 Greenwood $1,132
15 Anderson $1,127
16 Rock Hill $1,124
17 Spartanburg $1,116
18 Aiken $1,097
19 North Augusta $1,095
20 Wade Hampton $1,090
21 Greer $1,087
22 Taylors $1,085
23 Mauldin $1,071
24 Simpsonville $1,050
25 Easley $1,035
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Prices are approximated as zip code location can raise or lower premiums significantly.

Deciding which companies quote the most affordable car insurance rates for 17 year olds in South Carolina will require a little more effort than just picking a company at random. Each insurer uses their own method for establishing rates, so we'll go over the most competitive car insurance companies in South Carolina.

It's a good idea to know that South Carolina car insurance rates are calculated based on many things that will increase or decrease your annual premium. Turning one year older, having a claim, or getting a driving violation may generate price changes that can now make some companies cheaper in comparison to the competition.

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Cheapest auto insurance in South Carolina ranked by cost per year
Rank Company Cost Per Year
1 The Hartford $775
2 USAA $985
3 State Auto $1,094
4 Auto-Owners $1,119
5 SC Farm Bureau Mutual $1,260
6 Southern Farm Bureau $1,298
7 National Grange Mutual $1,321
8 State Farm $1,380
9 Travelers $1,397
10 Allstate $1,589
11 Progressive $1,660
12 Encompass $1,707
13 Nationwide $1,778
14 Safe Auto $1,965
15 GEICO $1,981
16 Bristol West $2,420
17 Liberty Mutual $2,439
18 Safeco $2,744
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The Hartford normally has some of the cheapest car insurance rates in South Carolina at around $775 each year. This is $834 less than the average policy premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual also are some of the best South Carolina insurance companies.

As the rates illustrate above, if you are a customer of Auto-Owners and switched to USAA, you could see yearly savings of upwards of $134. Insureds with SC Farm Bureau Mutual could save as much as $275 a year, and Southern Farm Bureau policyholders might reduce prices by as much as $313 a year.

To compare your rates to other South Carolina insurance companies, click here to start your free quote or visit any of the low-priced companies below.

Be aware that those estimates are averaged for all insureds and vehicles and and are not figured with a rate increase for 17 year olds. So the company that is most affordable for your situation may not even be in the top 18 companies shown above. That emphasizes why you need to quote rates from as many companies as possible using your own driver information and specific vehicle type.

The make and model of vehicle you are seeking coverage for is a significant factor in finding the most affordable insurance for 17 year olds. Vehicles with more horsepower, poor passenger safety features, or a high likelihood of having liability claims will cost quite a bit more to insure than safer, lower-performance models. The next table illustrates car insurance prices for the cheapest vehicles to buy coverage for.

Cheapest Vehicles to Insure for 17 Year Olds in South Carolina
Vehicle Estimated Cost for Full Coverage
Honda CR-V EX 2WD $2,987
Ford Escape XLT 4WD $3,016
Honda Accord EX-L 4-Dr Sedan $3,206
Toyota Prius $3,235
Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4WD 2-Dr $3,355
Ford F-150 XLT Regular Cab 4WD $3,360
Ford Explorer XLT 2WD $3,355
Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan $3,516
Dodge Grand Caravan Hero $3,545
Chevrolet Equinox LS AWD $3,552
Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD $3,545
Toyota Camry LE $3,552
Toyota RAV4 Sport 4WD $3,545
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Above prices assume single female driver age 17, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and South Carolina minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Information does not factor in specific location which can revise auto insurance rates greatly.

By looking at the data, you can expect models like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, and Jeep Wrangler are most likely going to be the most budget-friendly vehicles to insure for teen drivers. Prices will be more costly just due to the fact that there is more claim risk for 17 year olds, but generally speaking those specific models will most likely have the best rates available.

Full coverage rates compared to liability-only

Saving money on car insurance is the goal of most vehicle owners, and one good way to reduce the cost of insurance for 17 year olds in South Carolina is to only buy liability coverage. The chart below illustrates the difference between insurance costs with liability coverage only compared to full coverage. Data assumes no accidents, no driving violations, $100 deductibles, single status, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

If all age groups are averaged, physical damage insurance costs an additional $1,957 per year over and above liability coverage. Many drivers will wonder when is the right time to remove full coverage. There isn't a written rule to stop buying physical damage insurance, but there is a guideline you can use. If the yearly cost of comp and collision coverage is more than around 10% of replacement cost minus your deductible, then you might consider buying liability only.

Discounts on South Carolina auto insurance rates

Car insurance companies that provide policies for 17 year olds may have price discounts that can reduce rates by as much as 35% or more if you meet certain criteria. A few popular companies and their offered discounts are shown below.

The diagram below shows the comparison of premium costs with and without discounts being applied to the rates. The premium estimates are based on a female driver, no claims or violations, South Carolina state minimum liability limits, comp and collision included, and $500 deductibles.

The first bar for each age group shows the average annual price with no discounts. The second shows the rates with anti-theft, good student, continuous coverage, vehicle safety, paid-in-full, and paperless filing discounts applied. When these discounts are applied, theaverage amount saved on car insurance for 17 year olds is 28% or $535.

Bad driving habits will cost you more

In a perfect world, the ideal way to obtain low car insurance rates for teen drivers is to drive attentively and maintain a clean driving record. The diagram below shows how traffic citations and accident claims increase auto insurance costs for different age groups of insureds. The data is based on a married male driver, comp and collision included, $500 deductibles, and no discounts are applied to the premium.

In the chart above, the average cost of a car insurance policy in South Carolina per year with a clean driving record and no accidents is $1,372. Get written up for two speeding tickets and the average cost increases to $1,887, an increase of $515 each year. Now add two accidents along with the two speeding tickets and the 12-month cost of car insurance for 17 year olds in South Carolina goes up to an average of $3,899. That's an increase of $2,527, or $211 per month, just for a couple of infractions!

Your low-price policy may be costing you money

South Carolina car insurance rates are impacted by many factors which can substantially change the policy premium. Simply having another birthday, having a claim, or getting into an accident can trigger price changes that may make certain companies more affordable than the competition. Not only may your risk profile change, but auto insurance companies change prices every year or even multiple times each year in order to protect their financial rating. Higher than normal claim frequency or severity can result in more expensive premiums, while less frequent claims may produce lower-priced South Carolina car insurance rates.

The data below compares the cheapest car insurance in South Carolina for a 40-year-old female driver with no prior claims, no tickets, and good financial standing. If we estimate rates based on her current risk factors, The Hartford offers the best car insurance rates in South Carolina at $768 per year. This is $841 less than the average policy premium paid by South Carolina drivers of $1,609. USAA, State Auto, Auto-Owners, and SC Farm Bureau Mutual are the rest of the best South Carolina auto insurance companies.

The chart below compares rates after we give the driver from the first rate comparison an accident claim, bad credit, and a stop sign violation. Because every insurance company has their own process to set policy rates, comparing quotes could result in a new list of companies as shown below.

National Grange Mutual now has the best insurance rate in South Carolina with Travelers, State Farm, USAA, and The Hartford now rounding out the top five. This demonstrates why it is important to shop around to get the cheapest car insurance quotes for 17 year olds. Auto insurance prices can be determined by many different factors and change frequently, so the best price a year ago may now be quite expensive.