South Carolina Auto Dealer Bond

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How to Get an Auto Dealer Surety Bond

What is a South Carolina auto dealer bond?

The South Carolina auto dealer bond is a mandatory surety bond requirement for all car dealers in the state. It ensures that the interests of car shoppers are protected, by providing them with an extra layer of security in case of fraud. Consumers can file a claim if they feel they haven’t been treated ethically, or according to the law.

Like other types of surety bonds, South Carolina auto dealer bonds are a three-party agreement between the dealer, the state, and a bonding company.

Surety bond name: South Carolina Auto Dealer Bond
Surety bond amount: $30,000 for retail dealers
$15,000 for wholesale and motorcycle dealers
Obligee: South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
Dealer Licensing and Audit Unit
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016
Required expiration date: Yearly renewal

Do you want to apply for your South Carolina auto dealer bond? You can do so through our online application, or if you prefer, continue reading the Questions sections below.

Questions about Auto Dealer Bond in South Carolina

How much does a South Carolina auto dealer bond cost?

This is one of the most frequently-asked questions. Depending on whether you will be a retail or a wholesale dealer, the total bond amount required from you will be $30,00 or $15,000 respectively. However, this is not the amount you are required to pay. Rather, this is the sum of the maximum coverage that can be extended to claimants.

You pay for your auto dealer bond in annual premiums, which are a fraction of the total bond amount. The premium depends mostly on your personal credit score. Applicants with good credit pay premiums between 1% and 3% of the bond amount.

Surety Bond Cost Based on Credit Score
Type of Dealer License Surety bond amount Above 700 Between 650-699 Between 600-649 Below 599
Wholesale and Motorcycle Dealers $10,000 $100-$150 $100-$300 $250-$500 $500-$750
Retail Dealers $30,000 $300-$450 $300-$900 $750-$1,500 $1,500-$2,250

* This table provides a ballpark estimate of potential bond costs. Bond pricing can fluctuate over time due to a number of factors. For exact pricing, please complete an application.

You can find more information on our What Does a Surety Bond Cost? page.

Are bad credit dealer bonds available in South Carolina?

Yes, you can still obtain your auto dealer bond even if your credit is not perfect, or you have other credit issues.

With our bad credit surety bonds program you are guaranteed to stay in compliance. Bad credit applicants typically pay between 5% and 10% of the total bond amount. Your premium may be lower when it is time to renew your bond, if you take steps to improve your credit score or financial strength.

How do I get a South Carolina auto dealer bond?

It’s easy to apply for your South Carolina auto dealer bond in just minutes, thanks to our fast and secure online application.

If you have any questions, our bond agents are there to assist you at (877) 514-5146. If you want to learn more about the process of getting bonded, you can also read our How to Get Bonded page.

How do I renew my South Carolina auto dealer bond?

Since surety bonds are paid in premiums, they need to be renew year after year, for as long as you want to operate as a dealer legally.

Lance Surety Bonds always sends out bond renewal reminders to ensure you stay compliant and not worry about deadlines. Renewal is a simple process and typically requires minimum action on your part.

How do I apply for a South Carolina dealer license?

Dealers are required to fulfill a number of other important requirements in addition to obtaining the dealer bond.

The usual requirements include obtaining liability insurance, completing pre-licensing dealer training, submitting a diagram of your business location, getting a sales tax number and a few others. Be sure to check with the DMV for a full list of pre-licensing requirements, as they vary depending on the license you wish to obtain.

How are claims handled for South Carolina auto dealer bonds?

As mentioned in the beginning, using unethical business practices or otherwise failing to comply with applicable laws, can result in a claim against your surety bond.

In case of a valid claim, you are responsible for reimbursing the claimant. The maximum sum can be $10,000 or $30,000 depending on the bond you had to post.

Typically, surety bond underwriters can help you fight a claim if they think your case is strong and you are not in the wrong. In order to help them, it’s a good idea to keep your communication with the claimant well-documented.

Still Have Questions? Check Our FAQ Pages

What Our Clients Have To Say?

  • Kimberlee Ables
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