International Van Lines Review 2019

Bottom line: International Van Lines is a carrier and broker that specializes in long-distance and international moves. It sends its own trucks or contracts with top-ranked carriers to move you practically anywhere.

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

International Van Lines operates as both a carrier and moving broker for local, long-distance, and international moves.

With its large truck inventory, relationships with international carriers, and experience transporting home goods around the globe, IVL is a moving master—and an especially wise choice if you’re relocating across the country or abroad.

Continue reading to learn more about the pros and cons of using International Van Lines for your next move.

Pros

  • Worldwide availability
  • Discounts on moving services
  • Optional (and often included) storage

Cons

  • Lengthy quote process
  • Spotty customer service
  • Moves outsourced to other carriers
  • 25 percent deposit required at booking

What services does International Van Lines offer?

International Van Lines launched in 2000 and has a competitive edge in domestic and international moving. Its global reach and breadth of services offered make it a winner for complicated moves across the country or around the world.

International Van Lines’s standout features

  1. It provides an array of moving services.
  2. Its services are available worldwide.
  3. It offers optional temporary storage.

International Van Lines’s services

  • Free online and over-the-phone quotes
  • Local moves
  • Long-distance moves
  • International moves
  • Online rental discounts
  • Online reservations
  • Packing, assembly, and disassembly services
  • Moving advice
  • Moving forms
  • Optional temporary storage
  • Auto transport services
  • Military moves
  • Small moves
  • Corporate moves
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Door-to-door and port-to-port service
  • Shipment tracking

International Van Lines’s long-distance moving services cover any location within the United States. And, thanks to more than 3,200 global partnerships,1 IVL services worldwide moves.

While International Van Lines focuses on long-distance and international moves, it can also assist with your local move in select locations.

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Take Note

Take Note

International Van Lines operates as a moving carrier and broker, meaning IVL may outsource the transport of your belongings to other companies.

How much does International Van Lines cost?

Obtaining an accurate quote is one of the most difficult aspects of working with International Van Lines, as estimating your price requires a full inventory of what you’re moving, when, and where. You’ll also need to submit your full name, address, and phone number to receive a quote.

Due to the nature of its quoting system—and the fact that it subcontracts out many moves to other providers—we couldn’t get a range of accurate, instant quotes for this company.

That said, IVL’s thorough online and over-the-phone quote process is far more accurate than instant quote generators used by other companies. You’ll fill out an entire inventory of how many beds, dressers, couches, tables, and even unusual items like canoes you’re moving so you can ballpark the price of your truckload.

International Van Lines moving rates

Our quote for moving a two-bedroom home (approximately 5,000 pounds) across the country (2,163 miles) totaled $4749.52.

Here’s what’s included in every International Van Lines move:

  • Basic furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Loading and unloading
  • Use of pads, blankets, ties, and straps for furniture protection
  • Moving items up or down one flight of stairs
  • All tolls, mileage, fuel, and taxes (unless otherwise listed)
  • Liability protection ($0.60 per lb. per article)

IVL does offer full-value protection—which covers damage to your belongings at a higher rate per item—at an additional cost. If you’re moving abroad, you can also purchase marine insurance for your shipment.

International Van Lines moving fees

Depending on the logistics of your move, you may have to pay extra fees. Use this summary to better estimate your overall cost.

IVL fee categories

Fee typeAmountDetails
Elevator$75One-time charge
Stairs$75 per additional flightFirst flight (10 steps) is free
Long carry$75 per additional 75 ft.Charged if truck must park more than 75 ft. from your door
Packing materialsVariesBubble wrap, boxes, tape, mattress covers, and crates available for purchase
Shuttle service$0.75 per cu. ft. ($350 minimum)Charged if an 18-wheeler cannot reach your location
Bulky item$150 per itemTreadmills, canoes, etc.
Piano handling$150–$350Varies with piano type
Motorcycle handling$350Does not include packing or weight of bike
Storage$0.50 per cu. ft. per monthCalculated starting on day of pickup
Fee type
Elevator
Stairs
Long carry
Packing materials
Shuttle service
Bulky item
Piano handling
Motorcycle handling
Storage
Amount Details
$75 One-time charge
$75 per additional flight First flight (10 steps) is free
$75 per additional 75 ft. Charged if truck must park more than 75 ft. from your door
Varies Bubble wrap, boxes, tape, mattress covers, and crates available for purchase
$0.75 per cu. ft. ($350 minimum) Charged if an 18-wheeler cannot reach your location
$150 per item Treadmills, canoes, etc.
$150–$350 Varies with piano type
$350 Does not include packing or weight of bike
$0.50 per cu. ft. per month Calculated starting on day of pickup

Pricing on long-distance moves

A deposit is required for all long-distance and international moves—typically 25% of your overall quote. The deposit reserves the date that your carrier will pick up your belongings, but it is fully refundable for moves canceled up to 48 hours prior to the pickup date. The deposit can be placed on a credit card and will be deducted from your total balance.

The remainder of what you owe is split into two payments: half is charged upon pickup, and the other half upon delivery. You must pay the balance by cashier’s check, cash, or money order.

Note: for an extra $1,000, you can guarantee a quicker transit time.

Get money

PRO TIP

PRO TIP

For the most accurate quote on a long-distance move, skip the lengthy phone call and opt for a free in-home estimate. This helps you cover your bases and avoid unexpected charges tacked onto your total.

Pricing on local moves

International Van Lines does not fulfill local moves itself. Once you submit a quote request, it will provide a list of vetted companies that offer door-to-door service in your area.

Local moves are priced by the hour instead of by weight. These hourly rates vary based on a few factors:

  • How many movers you need
  • The time and date of your move
  • The size of your home
  • The number of bulky, heavy items

Request a free moving quote via the IVL website or by telephone, and be sure to ask about available promotions to secure the best rate

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WHERE TO?

WHERE TO?

As much as people dream about big moves, most folks stay close to home. Just 34% of American movers relocate to a different county or state, and just 4% come from abroad.2 If you’re from one of these adventurous groups, International Van Lines is an excellent choice for relocating over long distances.

International Van Lines offers specialty moving services

If your household goods go beyond the usual boxes, dishes, furniture, and useless knickknacks found in practically everyone’s home, you’ll love IVL’s array of moving services.

Need a crane to lift your hot tub off of your porch? Or an extra set of hands to haul a baby grand piano from your living room? Check and check. Trained staff arrive ready to safely pack and haul nearly anything you request.

International Van Lines offers the following specialty moving services:

  • Full-service packing
  • Short or long-term storage
  • Specialty crating
  • Large and heavy item moves
  • Crane service
  • Piano transport
  • Complex furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Motorcycle handling

International Van Lines has moving services worldwide

The best part of International Van Lines’s moving services is that they’re available anywhere around the globe. Whether you’re relocating from Botswana or Boston, you’ll find a bevy of vetted door-to-door and port-to-port moving options.

(All are way safer than hiring a stranger off Craigslist.)

Plus, International Van Lines has moving coordinators to help guide you through the global moving process: they can explain customs inspections, international transit times, and additional charges for cross-border moves.

These added charges will vary based on your move, but expect increased costs if you request door-to-port service, which requires you to pay port and terminal handling charges (THC) at the destination port.3

Get more information on these costs from your destination country, customs departments, the local consulate, or your moving coordinator so you can know what to expect.

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BE AWARE

BE AWARE

International transit times are unpredictable and can take much longer than moves within the United States. Expect 6–10 weeks to get your goods to your new home—ask your moving coordinator for a specific timeline based on your destination.

International Van Lines provides optional temporary storage

Whether you’re a military member shopping around for a new home after a Permanent Change of Station or a civilian waiting on a sale to finalize before moving in, you may need a place to temporarily store your belongings.

Thankfully, International Van Lines offers a variety of storage services. Customers report that they’ve received a month of free storage with moving packages, and the company offers occasional promotions, including a free month when you pay for a full year of storage. Choose warehouse or portable storage to safely stow your home goods until you need them.

Warehouse storage

With thousands of partner facilities around the globe, International Van Lines can offer customers storage in (almost) any country or state. IVL monitors facilities to ensure all are safe and secure for stashing cargo until you’re ready to move in.

Portable storage

If you need a few extra days to pack—or if you just want everything stowed in a single container in your driveway—try IVL’s portable storage. You’ll pack your belongings in weather-resistant cubes, and International Van Lines will transport them to a warehouse facility until your new home is ready.

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KEEP IN MIND

KEEP IN MIND

You must notify IVL if you wish to cancel storage 10 days before your contract expires or you’ll owe the next month’s entire fee.

What we think

For global, long-distance, and local moves, International Van Lines is an experienced carrier and broker that gets the job done. Its availability in all 50 states and around the world and its professional drivers mean your stuff is in good hands from Toledo to Tahiti.

Our one caution for moving with International Van Lines: The quote process is not instant and requires a full inventory of your home, which means rates can vary depending on the information you provide. For the most accurate pricing, try in-home estimates—you should also request a list of any extra fees when confirming the cost.

Time to pack up?

Get an idea of how much moving with International Van Lines might cost you with a free quote.

Get a Quote

Are you an International Van Lines customer? Share your experience in the comments below. If you’re still not sure whether International Van Lines is right for you, check out our best interstate moving companies list to find other movers we recommend.

Sources

  1. International Van Lines, “International Movers
  2. Move.org, “The State of the American Mover: Stats and Facts
  3. International Van Lines, “International Moving Company

About Jenny Willden

Jenny Willden
Jenny’s been writing stories since she first picked up a pencil and is lucky to call it her profession. She’s lived in five U.S. states (and counting) and uses her mishaps to help you master your next move.
  • Mark Decker

    I recently hired IVL for a long distance move and was pleased with the outcome. Minus a slight delay everything else went to perfection and I would use them again. This is the 6th time I had to hire a moving company and was one of the better experiences.

  • LisaA

    WORST HIRING DECISION WE EVER MADE!
    Our domestic household move with International Van Lines ended up taking 31 days, 7 to 8 truck loads, and cost almost twice the original estimate, when you add in the three-week forced hotel stay while our goods were held hostage in an undisclosed storage facility, after we had sold our house. It was a nightmare from start to finish. Our belongings were three times held hostage while demands for more money (sometimes cash only) were made. Our things were damaged, and some are missing. There was no inventory control–we even ended up with someone else’s belongings, and nothing was done about that, though IVL was informed. The promises and guarantees made my IVL when we hired them were all broken. Our move was supposed to involve one truck and one trip across the country. That turned out to be a joke, but not a funny one. Communication was horrible—inefficient, rude, and unprofessional–throughout. Before the nightmare was even over, they first offered us money to be quiet, then threatened to sue us if we spoke out about our experiences. Such behavior certainly explains their good online reviews. By the way, we have all this in writing. I’ve never experienced such deceptive and/or incompetent business practices in my life.This company isn’t even really a moving company–they just broker other people’s trucks–even short-term rentals–and then maintain no control over what happens next. Read more about what happened to us, as well as other honest reviews of this company, at our information site: internationalvanlines.info.

    • Lisa Butterfield

      I had the same experience with IVL. I am now posting my similar experience. DO NOT USE INTERNATIONAL VAN LINES.

  • Paul Crane

    Several consumer groups suggested IVL as one of the best moving companies. I chose them because the sales rep Alex was great at explaining the details of how things work, and he was straight forward. My move was for a 3 bedroom house from NY to LA. Movers were on-time, packed well and I didnt deal with any surprises. Based on previous experiences I had with other mover, IVL did a fantastic job. I would use them again and refer them to anyone looking for a mover.