The child, from Simpsonville, had driven overnight Sunday to meet the unknown male when he became lost and pulled up next to a police cruiser, Charleston police said in a statement.
Officer Christopher Braun encountered the boy at about 12:30 a.m. Monday morning.
The 11-year-old, who was the only person in the vehicle, said he took his brother's car and drove to Charleston to "live with an unknown male he met on Snapchat," police said.
The child told Braun he had been driving for the last three hours and became lost after the GPS on his father's tablet, which was directing him to the male's address, stopped working.
He no longer had the address to the male's home and was unable to recover it because Snapchat messages disappear or are deleted after they are read, police said.
After getting the boy's name and his father's name, Braun contacted the father, who was in the process of reporting his child missing, and told him what happened.
The father and his other son drove to Charleston from Simpsonville to pick up his 11-year-old son and the older son's vehicle.
Police took the tablet and plan to analyze it for possible evidence.