The 5 Best Moving Van Lines of 2021

Most transparent pricing
united
United Van Lines
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • Binding estimates
  • Storage options
  • Online tracking
Best for customization
allied
Allied Van Lines
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6
  • Binding estimates
  • Storage options
  • Online tracking
Best for discounts
internationalvanlines
International Van Lines
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8
  • Binding estimates
  • Storage options
  • No online tracking
Best for last-minute moves
Wheaton logo
Wheaton World Wide Moving
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
  • Binding estimates
  • Storage options
  • No online tracking
Best for first-timers
northamerican
North American Van Lines
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7
  • Binding estimates
  • Storage options
  • Online tracking
Julia Campbell
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on March 01, 2021
8 min read

First things first: What is a van line? Is it a type of moving company? Does it differ from a moving broker?

To put it simply, a moving broker connects you with other companies that fit your needs and budget. With a van line you work directly with the carrier—there’s no middleman. (So, yes and yes.)

Van lines (also called carriers) have their own fleets, but some also act as brokers so they can expand their network and range.

We did hours of research to find the best moving van lines in the biz. Here's who we recommend:

Looking for other long-distance moving options? Check out our top picks in our Best Interstate Movers list.

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Move.org Moving Grants: The 411

At Move.org, we offer financial assistance to individuals and families who are moving in exchange for details about their experience. Their candid reviews help us provide unique, real-life perspectives about the moving process.

Visit our Moving Grant hub to find out which companies we’ve worked with and to apply for funding for your next move!


United Van Lines—Most transparent pricing

Most transparent pricing
united
United Van Lines
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5

United Van Lines’s services, prices, and industry expertise certainly warrant the name recognition the company receives. It also has transparent pricing and one of the best moving quote generators we’ve seen.

Plus, United uses only background-checked workers, so you can trust that you aren’t handing your belongings to a stranger off the street.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Straightforward rates
Pro Bullet PC network disassembly and setup
Pro Bullet Trash and debris removal
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Mixed service quality between locations

Why we love United Van Lines

It has transparent pricing

Moving companies have a rep for being shady about their prices. For instance, lots of movers won’t tell you that carrying your stuff down flights of stairs costs extra until they show up on moving day. Or they’ll bury the extra fee in your estimate in 10-pt. italicized font.

United, on the other hand, spells out its package pricing and add-on services pretty plainly before your move. This helps you budget properly (and avoid the feeling that you’ve been played).

It offers full-value protection on every move

United Van Lines includes full-value protection on every move—a victory for those who care about their stuff.

Here’s the deal: Moving companies are required to include basic valuation on every move. That’s $0.60 of coverage per pound per item. So if your 450-lb., $900 sectional sofa breaks in transit, you’ll get comped only $270.

Full-value protection (FVP), on the other hand, completely covers all your items. With FVP,  you’d get a $900 check for that damaged sectional. Bring on the brand new sofa!

United is one of the few moving companies to include it in the price of every move. We think this shows how much the company cares about protecting your belongings.

Impressed with United? Read our United Van Lines review to see a full breakdown of its services and pricing. 

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Did you know?

United offers PC network disassembly and setup on both ends of your move. So don’t worry about connecting your 75-inch smart TV to WiFi or syncing your MacBook to your wireless printer—United will take care of it for you.


Allied Van Lines—Best for customization

Best for customization
allied
Allied Van Lines
Our Rating
4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6

Allied has one of the largest moving networks in the world, so it can tackle anything from a large, long-distance move to a smaller, local one.

The company offers a slew of moving services like appliance disconnection and reconnection.

One of our Move.org staff writers has moved with Allied, and we’re pleased to report that the company was transparent about its costs and had stellar customer service (though its customer service isn’t necessarily consistent across the board).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet No hidden fees
Pro Bullet Appliance connection and disconnection services
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Subpar customer service in some locations
Con Bullet Reports of broken items

Why we recommend Allied Van Lines

It offers lots of à la carte options

Allied’s wide range of add-ons allows you to tailor your move so you’re not paying for more than you need.

Here are Allied’s à la carte services:

  • Full-service packing
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Moving supplies and boxes
  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Custom crating services
  • Storage options
  • Auto transport
  • Shuttle services (if your front door is hard to access from the street)
  • Full-value protection (FVP)
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Pro tip

Curious to see what past customers are saying about moving companies? Yelp, BusinessRater, and Google reviews are great places to start.

It offers live shipment tracking

When you put your life in the back of a moving truck, you want to know it’ll get to its final destination safe and sound.

We love that Allied’s live tracking option can help alleviate some of our natural moving anxiety.

Most van lines connect you with your truck driver, who will send periodic updates while they’re out on the road. But for those of us who want to check in every few hours, the option to live track is a win.

Allied lets you track your shipment online the same way you track an Uber: you can see, in real time, how far away it is from your location.

(Take that, Dominos. Now we can track more than just our XL MeatZZa!)

With this option, you’ll have a better gauge of when your things will actually arrive. And let’s be real: you’ll probably get a better night’s sleep too.

Check out our Allied Van Lines review to get the full story.


International Van Lines—Best for discounts

Best for discounts
internationalvanlines
International Van Lines
Our Rating
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8

International Van Lines is both a moving van line and a broker—meaning it can send you one of its own trucks or pair you with a company that better meets your needs.

IVL offers convenient services like multimedia setup and trash and debris removal.

Plus, its name is a straight giveaway: It excels in international moves. So if now is the time to finally make that move to Paris you’ve been talking about for years, International Van Lines can help you out.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Worldwide moving services
Pro Bullet Transparent rates
Pro Bullet Temporary and long-term storage options
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Final bill often higher than quote
Con Bullet Reports of tardy movers

Why it’s worth considering International Van Lines

It offers occasional promotions

International Van Lines offers periodic promotions, from a free month of storage to 50 bucks off your local move. Moving is expensive—especially when you go full-service—so we appreciate the company’s efforts to save you some cash.

And these discounts are nothing to sneeze at.

When we wrote this review, International Van Lines was offering 65% off all cross-country moves. To put this into perspective: a 65% discount on a $4,750 cross-country move for a 2-bedroom home drops your total down to $1,662.50—meaning you’d save $3,087.50.

We don’t know if IVL’s promotions will always be this good, but 65% off a cross-country move certainly catches our eye.

It offers short- and long-term storage options

New home isn’t ready to move into yet? Truck arrived before you did?

Not to worry: International Van Lines has temporary and long-term storage facilities in almost every state.

Here are the two storage types International Van Lines offers:

  • Warehouse storage: This gives you the option to stow your things until you arrive at your new home—whether you and your family miss a flight or have to spend a few extra days wrapping up loose ends.
  • Portable storage: If you’re starting a new job within a couple days and don’t have the time to fully unpack, portable storage allows you to store your things at your new home in a weather-safe container. That way, you can take a few extra days to unpack (and unwind from moving out of your last home).

Still wanna know more? Check out our in-depth International Van Lines review.

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Pssst

International Van Lines has been known to throw one free month of storage in with some of its moving packages. If you’re in the market for storage, make sure to ask about this!


Wheaton World Wide Moving—Best for last-minute moves

Best for last-minute moves
Wheaton World Wide Moving Review
Wheaton World Wide Moving
Our Rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1

Wheaton World Wide Moving provides full-service convenience for local, long-distance, and international moves. And with services designed to make your moving experience as quick and painless as possible, Wheaton is our recommendation for last-minute moves.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Nationwide availability
Pro Bullet Packing supplies
Pro Bullet Auto transportation
Pro Bullet Short- and long-term storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet No online shipment tracking
Con Bullet Mediocre customer reviews

Why we recommend Wheaton

It provides instant online estimates

If you’re moving on short notice—or you’ve put off planning ‘til the last minute (we’ve all been there)—then you probably don’t have a lot of time to shop around for the best prices or services.

Plus, moving companies often require you to schedule an in-home estimate before they tell you what your move might cost, which takes more time.

Luckily, Wheaton allows you to get an instant estimate online. While the online estimate won’t be an exact prediction of what Wheaton will actually charge for your move, it’ll give you a rough idea of what you should plan to spend.

Once you’ve got your quote, you can decide if you want to try your luck with a different company, or you can get the ball rolling with Wheaton by scheduling an appointment to get a more accurate in-home estimate.

While online quotes can significantly accelerate the planning process, they’re not entirely unique to Wheaton, unlike the next service we’ll mention . . .

It offers Priority Relocation Service

If you’ve got a big budget and you need to get where you’re going quickly, then Wheaton’s Priority Relocation Service was made for you. For Priority Relocation customers, Wheaton expedites the shipping process to meet deadlines (if possible) and guarantees delivery dates.

For every day your Priority Relocation shipment is late, Wheaton will pay you $150, so you know the company takes your schedule seriously. Of course, Priority Relocation moves are much more expensive than normal moves with Wheaton, though we can’t say exactly how much they cost because prices vary from one move to another.

Unfortunately, Priority Relocation Service is only available for shipments between 3,500 and 6,000 lbs. This restriction should be fine if you’re moving out of a two- or a three-bedroom house, but if you’re moving out of something more like a studio apartment or a mansion, you probably can’t take advantage of this service.

If you’re shopping for a quick move, but you want to learn more about Wheaton before you commit, go read our full review of Wheaton.


North American Van Lines—Best for first-timers

Best for first-timers
northamerican
North American Van Lines
Our Rating
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7

North American Van Lines, also referred to as northAmerican, has locations nationwide and lots of add-on features to mix and match. This makes it flexible enough to cover local moves, international moves, and everything in between.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lots of add-on services
Pro Bullet Packing supplies available
Pro Bullet Online GPS tracking
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Mixed customer service

Why we love North American Van Lines

It has helpful moving resources

Moving is something you (hopefully) don’t have to do often. It’s confusing. It’s overwhelming. It’s kind of a drag.

If you’ve never moved before—or if you can’t remember where to start—northAmerican has plenty of online resources for each step of the process, including a host of FAQs, pro tips, and general tricks of the trade.

Its resources can help keep you from signing with the wrong company—or for the wrong price.

We think this says a lot about how the company values its customers—especially because it favors customer comfort over going straight for the sell.

Heads Up
Buyer beware!

The moving industry is full of companies with similar-sounding names. Don’t confuse North American Van Lines with others that look like it. Check your mover’s FMCSA number before you book to ensure you’re dealing with the right company.

It offers trash and debris removal services

It’s no secret that moving can get messy. Whether you’re clearing out your garden or tossing your 10-year-old mattress, northAmerican can help you dispose of throwaways.

Plus, if there’s ever a time to pull a Marie Kondo and downsize your life, it’s when you’re moving. (Bonus: the smaller the load, the cheaper the move.)

So don’t feel obligated to pack that waffle iron you only pull out once every two years—northAmerican will handle your post-purge cleanup.

Check out more about the company in our North American Van Lines review.

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Don’t forget

Customer service varies by location. Research the location of the local agent you’ll be working with. Not every location has every service and feature listed online.


Cross Country Moving Companies

Tell us what you think

Have you moved with any of these companies? We want to hear about it—the good and the bad.

If you still want to browse around, here are some other moving van lines worth considering:

Joe Roberts contributed to this report. 

Julia Campbell
Written by
Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell is a full-time writer who knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to planning a hassle-free move. Having moved seven times in the past five years, she draws from her own experience and industry expertise to help you avoid her biggest mistakes (like that time she thought she could get away with packing her dishes without wrapping them first).