- Price Estimates on Website
- Special Item Transportation
- Change Inventory List and Moving Date for Free
- Transparent Pricing
- Free Instant Virtual Ballpark Estimate
- BBB A+ Rank
- Last Minute Moves at No Extra Charge
- Price Estimates on Website
- No Brokerage
- Free Full Value Protection
- Transparent Pricing
- Customized Packing Plans
- Exemplary Customer Service
- A la carte Services
- Instant Online Quote via InstaQuote
Our Top-Pick: Allied Van Lines is our top national moving company. Allied Van Lines has earned a great reputation of being one of the best long distance movers. They have excellent customer service, safety certifications, and handle moves big and small with ease.
To identify the 5 most reliable and trusted nationwide movers in America, Moving Astute surveyed over 20 leading moving companies and examined more than 50 quotes. Through this comprehensive analysis, we are pleased to present our top recommended moving companies for your nationwide relocation!
From movers familiar with the lay of the land for local moves to moving companies that reach far and wide across America, the moving industry is inundated.
There are several moving companies that offer services for all kinds of moves, but you want a company that can effortlessly handle your national move.
With so many choices, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Read up on our take of the best national moving companies so your long distance move can be in safe hands.
Compare Top 5 Trusted Nationwide Movers in the U.S.
|Moving Company||International Van Lines||Arpin Van Lines||American Van Lines||United Van Lines||Allied Van Lines|
|Company Type||Both Carrier and Broker||Carrier||Carrier||Both Carrier and Broker||Carrier|
|Offers Auto Shipping||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|States Covered||All States Covered||All States Covered||All States Covered except AK and HI||All 50 States in the U.S.||All 50 States in the U.S.|
|Customer Experience and Happiness||Great||Great||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent|
|Pros||Price Estimates on Website|
Special Item Transportation
Change Inventory List and Moving Date for Free
Free Instant Virtual Ballpark Estimate
BBB A+ Rank
|Last Minute Moves at No Extra Charge|
Price Estimates on Website
|Free Full Value Protection|
Customized Packing Plans
|Exemplary Customer Service|
A la carte Services
Instant Online Quote via InstaQuote
|Cons||No Instant Quote without filling Detailed Inventory Form|
25% Deposit Required
|25% Upfront Deposit to Book a Date|
Experience May Vary Based on Local Agents
3rd Party Services in Some States (MT, UT, WA, OR)
|Complex Quote Process|
Online Quotes Unavailable
Deposit Required for All Moves
Poor Online Reviews
|No Instant Quote|
Phone Call Required
|Poor Claim Policy|
Too Many Phone Calls
Mobile App Not Available
5 Top-Rated National Moving Companies
1. International Van Lines
International Van Lines was established in 2000, which in comparison to many other big moving companies is fairly recent. However, they now handle an average of 10,000 relocations every year, as mentioned on their website. Of these, 80% are long distance moves; their growth certainly seems to be a testament to their success. They started out as an international moving company serving over 180 nations. And today, they also provide services in the US including local, long distance, auto transport, debris removal, junk cleanup, full service packing and storage options. Apart from the in-home survey, they also offer a virtual survey.
Reasons To Choose International Van Lines:
Quote Transparency: The biggest worry with moving companies is their ability to be vague or misleading about the moving quote. IVL is very clear about several things on their website, and has an entire section dedicated to explaining just what goes into their moving quote estimates. There’s a list of things that are included in the estimate, which include tolls, mileage, taxes, disassembly and reassembly of basic furniture pieces, one flight of stairs (7 steps) and Basic Liability Coverage up to $10,000, at $0.60/lb per article. Below that is a list of everything excluded, along with the prices that you will be charged. Knowing where and what your money is going into is definitely reassuring, especially when already dealing with so much stress from the move. After all, transparency is a trademark of reliability.
Specialty Moving Services: Not all movers offer specialty moving services, leaving you to handle the stress of figuring out how to transport your grand piano, canoe or hot tub. However, IVL handles all of it for you. Not only do they have the equipment and expertise to handle all sorts of specialized equipment, they also offer custom crate services to make sure antiques and expensive artworks reach your destination safely and in one piece. This comes over and above their full service packing, which leaves the mammoth task of packing to them. So much being left in the hands of professionals sounds like music to our ears.
Things to Consider Before Hiring International Van Lines:
Pricing Model: IVL operates on a weight-based pricing model. This can be more expensive, as your home’s total weight is calculated based on an in-home survey authorized by you, and the heavier it weighs, the more you pay. However, this also gives you peace of mind that you are only paying for what you are actually moving, and not more.
Non-Flexible Rates: As IVL operates on an all-inclusive pricing model, this means the quote you get is final, with no wiggle room to negotiate a lower rate. This could be a downside if you’re looking to cut costs as much as possible.
Limited Coverage: IVL provides Basic Liability Coverage up to $10,000 for no additional cost. This is lesser than what some other companies offer, and if you would like additional coverage, you will have to pay extra for it with them.
- Quote Transparency
- Specialty Moving Services
- In-Home Survey and Virtual Surveys offered
- Weight-based Pricing Model
- Non-Flexible Rates
- Limited Coverage
Estimated Cost of Moving with International Van Lines
We got a quote from IVL for a move of 1000 miles, with the estimated weight being 6,500 lbs. The quote came to $2,851.50 which included Basic Liability Coverage up to $10,000 ($0.60/lb per article), tolls and mileage (with no additional charge for stairs). Additional services such as full packing, extra coverage and specialty moving services cost extra depending on the item being moved.
See also: Detailed Review of IVL
2. Arpin Van Lines
Founded in 1900 by the Arpin family, Arpin Van Lines has been in the industry servicing people for 120 years. Arpin is headquartered in Rhode Island, USA, but provides local, interstate, military and national services across the United States, and in several countries across the globe. Apart from moving and moving-related services, Arpin is making a positive difference by associating with organizations like Move For Hunger, Arpin Green and Arpin Strong.
Arpin Van Lines was initially part of the Arpin Group of companies. However, in April 2020, Arpin Van Lines was acquired by the Wheaton Group, performing as an agent for them. This means that as their clients, you have the benefit of a stronger agency network, better services and higher availability of movers throughout the USA.
Reasons To Choose Arpin Van Lines:
A Moving Company With A Conscience: Whether it is the values that come with being a family-owned and operated company, or the responsibility to the world that over 100 years of service brings, Arpin is one of the few moving companies that have ‘green’ moves. Part of this initiative includes reduced paperwork and a conversion to IT to save paper, purchasing packing materials from suppliers who support sustainable forestry and recycling all moving waste. They also offer tips to their clients on how they can make their move greener and save some money as well. Every single year, approximately 8.4 million tons i.e. 16.8 billion pounds of waste and junk are thrown out due to moving. Seeing an industry-leader moving company taking responsibility is a great change.
Moving Discounts: For a moving company this big, Arpin makes sure its clients are well looked after. They recognize the monetary pressure that a move can bring, especially for senior citizens and veterans. In light of that, Arpin offers discounts to seniors and veterans. Apart from that, clients moving between September 1st and April 30th (off-season) may be eligible for a $150 discount or 15% off the Full Replacement Value Protection moving coverage. Plus, they have a link to their Commercial Relocation Tariff 2020 on their website, so you can see just what goes into their calculations for your move. Two big green flags, in our opinion.
Things to Consider Before Choosing Arpin Van Lines
Complicated Pricing Structure: The company does not provide a simple breakdown of the costs associated with moving such as packing and unpacking, insurance, etc., which may make it difficult to understand how much your move is going to cost you in total.
Slightly Expensive than Peers: Due to their partnership with Wheaton, Arpin Van Lines is one of the more expensive moving companies available. You may be able to find a cheaper moving company if you’re willing to sacrifice quality or services. No In-Home Survey: Arpin Van Lines does not offer in-Home Survey and Virtual Surveys like some other companies do, so you would have to physically visit their office to discuss the details of your move and to get a quote.
- A well-established, trusted moving company with over 100 years of experience.
- They offer discounts for veterans and senior citizens.
- Good customer service and a wide range of services offered
- Expensive pricing compared to other companies.
- No in-home survey or virtual surveys.
- Confusing pricing breakdowns and lack of transparency.
Estimated Cost of Moving with Arpin Van Lines:
Arpin Van Lines does not provide an online estimate for their services, and the cost of a move will depend on many factors, such as the distance of your move and how much stuff you are moving. The average cost for a local move with Arpin Van Lines is usually between $2,000-5,000, while long-distance moves can be anywhere from $5,000 – 15,000 depending on the size and distance of your move.
3. American Van Lines
Founded in 1995, this family-owned business has gone on to become one of America’s most trusted and best national moving companies. American Van Lines does local moves, long distance moves, corporate moves, international moves and military moves. It also has storage facilities and special moving for specialized items like pianos and antiques. With a website detailing out all their services, ProMover accreditation, and three different distances listed out to understand cost estimations, it’s easy to see why they’re one of the best at what they do.
Reasons To Choose American Van Lines:
Binding Estimates: American Van Lines offers what they call ‘flat-rate pricing’, which is also known more commonly as a binding estimate. You will be required to inventory all of your items, after which AVL will calculate how much they weigh and the cost to transport them and give you a price. This price will be fixed and binding, which means no additional costs or surprise fees will be added. Binding estimates are almost always preferred, as it saves you the hassle of getting scammed by companies when they increase your price with additional costs.
Binding estimates may seem costly, since the price is inclusive of the approximate time it will take to deliver your items (with a small buffer for delays), the mileage and fuel costs, etc. But look on the flip side: binding estimates encourage companies to work faster and better in order to turn a profit, which means you won’t likely have to worry about any delays.
No local agents: Almost all big moving companies work either with agents, partnerships or affiliate companies when coordinating national moves. This makes it easier to provide services as it widens their reach. This brokerage service means third party involvement, which leads to mixed reviews that depend solely on the local agent and how good or bad they are. However, AVL is a carrier company that doesn’t use agents. Everything happens through them and their well-trained staff. Phone calls and communication are with an AVL professional, and the labor and trucks will be AVL too. Their accountability has led to great customer reviews, ranking them as one of the top moving companies to go with.
Things to Consider before Choosing American Van Lines:
No BBB Accreditation: American Van Lines is not BBB accredited, which may be a cause for concern with some customers.
Additional Charges: AVL charges an additional fee if you require the services of their professional packers and movers. Depending on the size of your move and level of protection required, these charges can add up quite quickly.
Time Consuming: Their binding estimates require an inventory of all your items, which can be quite time consuming. This will also affect the accuracy of their quotes as they cannot guarantee how much your move will weigh until it’s already loaded onto the truck.
- Binding Estimates
- No local agents
- Storage facilities and services
- Not BBB accredited
- Additional fees for packing services
- Binding estimates require an inventory list
Estimated Cost of Moving with American Van Lines:
We got a quote from American Van Lines for a one-bedroom apartment move from Dallas, TX to San Francisco, CA and the total cost was $4,257. This was an estimate that included packing services, storage insurance and all taxes. The cost could vary depending on the size of your move and distance traveled.
See also: American Van Lines Review
4. United Van Lines
United Van Lines was founded in 1928, and after years of growth and expansion, became the #1 van line in market share and volume in 1992. What stands out is the fact that this is a position it maintains till today. It provides services for moves that are local, international, long distance and military, with car shipping services too. This is alongside the commonly found additional services like storage, full service packaging, packing and unpacking services, and cleaning services. They are one of the few moving companies that provide free Full Value Protection on every move, making them stand out from the crowd.
Reasons To Choose United Van Lines:
Tech Support: Once the unloading of moving day is done, then begins the mammoth task of unpacking and setting everything up. But United offers technology installations as part of their many services. They offer assistance in two areas: home theaters and PC networks. These services are particularly useful for those who aren’t that tech savvy, who don’t have the time to painstakingly set everything up in their new homes or even for those of us who are intimidated by the complexity of wall mounts and PCs.
Small Move Solutions: Long distance moves don’t always have to mean that you’re moving a truckload of stuff. However, you probably feel disadvantaged considering how much you’re paying to haul your few items across. United has something just for this: Snap Moves, designed for people who are making smaller moves. You can qualify as a smaller move if you have a one-bedroom house, 1/3 – bedroom apartment, studio apartment, storage unit or a dorm room.
Plus, if you have an interstate move that involves an assisted living facility, a youngster moving out, or moving your small shop, you could qualify as a Snapmove. The assistance includes free FVP, a personal move coordinator, standard transport of items and furniture setup, and a few more perks as listed on their website. A big moving company that pays as much attention to detail for the small moves is something we approve of.
Things to Consider Before Hiring United Van Lines:
No Instant Quote: The biggest shortcoming of United Van Lines is their lack of an online instant quote form. To receive a quote, potential customers must fill out a request form and wait to be contacted by a customer service representative. This can take several days or even weeks depending on how quickly the company responds.
Additionally, without an inventory list of all your belongings, it can be difficult to accurately assess the cost of your move. So even though United Van Lines advertises services in line with what you’re looking for, their lack of an online quote system often means customers must wait and hope that what they receive is a reasonable price.
No Shipment Tracking: United Van Lines also lacks a shipment tracking feature. While most customers are able to accurately predict the date of their move, delays or other unforeseen circumstances may occur and cause shoppers concern. In the absence of shipment tracking, customers could be left wondering when their goods will arrive or whether they have even been shipped at all.
- Professional packing and moving services.
- Free Full Value Protection on every move.
- Technology installation services available.
- SnapMoves solutions for smaller moves
- No instant quote available online.
- No shipment tracking feature is offered
- Potential for long wait times to receive a quote
Estimated Cost of Moving with United Van Lines:
We got a quote from United Van Lines for a family of two moving across the country with two bedrooms, 3 hours away. The estimated cost with all services included was around $3,000. This estimate may vary depending on the number of items and distance traveled.
5. Allied Van Lines
In the business since 1928, Allied Van Lines has one of the largest mover networks in the world. They provide local, national and international services, along with corporate and military moves. Storage options, debris removal, custom crates, full service packing and fragile-only packing are some of the other services they offer. With over 85 years of experience and a familiarity with the routes across America, Allied Van Lines makes it to our list of the best national moving companies in America.
Reasons To Choose Allied Van Lines:
Freedom To Choose: With a lot of companies, you have fixed packages to choose from, with fixed prices and services. However, Allied gives you the option to customize your package according to your needs. Their full service packing takes care of everything, and your price will vary depending on the number and types of boxes you’ll need. Your personal assistant will help you figure this out with their recommendations.
If you’re doing the packing yourself, you can opt for fragile-only packing, so your precious belongings are left to the sturdy hands of the professionals. You get to choose what needs to be packed and Allied will take care of the rest. And if you’re doing it all yourself, a complete DIY move, Allied can help with packing supplies and helpful tips. It gives you the freedom of customization so your move goes as smooth as you want it to.
Convenient Online Tracking: Almost all moving companies have some form of tracking your shipment, especially those that offer long distance moves. These can range from having to download an app, submitting login credentials, or dialing a customer service representative. But Allied has a much more convenient, accurate way to track your shipment: it gives you the current location, as well as the load date and delivery date. This is certainly reassuring, and knowing that you have the ability to check in on the shipment at any time will dissuade the drivers from causing any unnecessary delays.
Things to Consider Before Hiring Allied Van Lines:
Poor Claim Policy: Allied Van Lines has a very poor claim policy. Unlike other companies, they don’t offer any full value protection during the move, so you may be left with no recourse if your belongings are damaged or lost. They also don’t cover any items that were packed by you or someone else. The company doesn’t even cover items that were damaged during transport due to their own negligence or mishandling of the goods, which is a huge disadvantage for customers who trust them with their property.
Price Fluctuations: Due to its high demand, Allied Van Lines charges more than most other moving companies in the United States. This can be especially noticeable if you are set on using one of their services for a long-distance relocation.
Potential for Long Wait Times to Receive a Quote: Another issue with Allied Van Lines is that customers often have to wait for days or even weeks before receiving an estimate for their move. This can make it difficult for people who need to plan ahead and get a sense of how much their move will cost in advance.
Too Many Phone Calls: Finally, customers may find that they receive too many phone calls from representatives of the company. This can be especially annoying if your move is far away or you don’t have much time to answer any questions. While it’s understandable that Allied wants to ensure a smooth and successful move for their customers, this can be quite inconvenient for those who are already busy with other tasks.
- Customized Relocation Packages
- Variety of Services Offered
- Poor Claim Policy
- Price Fluctuations
- Long Wait Times to Receive a Quote
Estimated Cost of Moving with Allied Van Lines:
We got a quote from Allied Van Lines for a 1500-mile move with two bedrooms worth of furniture and boxes. The estimated cost of the move was around $2,400 – $3,000 depending on additional services such as packing and storage needs. This estimate is based on their current pricing scheme, which may vary slightly depending on factors like location and size of the move.
Must Read: Allied Van Lines Review
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Moving Company Move You?
As much as we wish we could, we can’t provide an accurate estimate as to how much it typically costs to hire movers. It certainly is more expensive than doing the move yourself, but remember that it comes with loads of benefits. The cost that your movers will charge you depends on several factors like whether you’re moving in peak season or off season, how much you’re moving, and how far you have to go. Moving companies like International Van Lines and American Van Lines give you a peek into their pricing process, or show you estimates for certain distances. The best way to know how much your move will typically cost is to get in-home estimates from 3 to 4 movers.
Is It Cheaper To Hire A Moving Company?
The answer to this question can vary depending on your situation and your needs. Take for instance a 1-bedroom apartment with a minimal amount of things that need to be packed. Assume there are next to no furniture, appliances or fragile items that need to be packed or moved. In such a situation, you could very well handle the packing by yourself if you live a minimalist lifestyle and have time on your hands. So you would only need the assistance of a moving company to transport your belongings, which will definitely be cheaper than availing all the services. Similarly, if you have a vehicle in which all your belongings can fit but you don’t have the time to pack it all, hiring a moving company for partial-packing services will definitely be cheaper than a full-packing and moving service.
How Far In Advance Should You Hire Movers?
There is no strict rule on how early you should hire your movers, though some companies could have a notice period to ensure they are available to assist you on those specific dates. However, a rule of thumb is to hire your movers at least 7 to 8 weeks in advance. This is also the period from which you should start your moving timeline, working towards your moving day by ticking off tasks from the list. However, anyone stuck with an emergency last-minute move needn’t panic, as lots of movers also have services catering to last-minute moves.
To evaluate and identify the best national moving companies, Moving Astute’s editorial and research team analyzed more than 20 movers operating in the United States. Here are a few factors that we look for in a professional nationwide mover:
- Nationwide Availability
- Customer Satisfaction
- Storage Availability
- Insurance Coverage
- Packing Services
- Tracking Facility
In order to ensure accurate and reliable information for our users, we research several moving companies using the following research method:
Transparent Pricing: To ensure that each national moving company’s pricing is reliable, we collect moving quotes, verify binding estimates, and read users’ reviews on price.
Authentication: We verify the registrations of each moving company in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s database to ensure that they are validly licensed to carry and relocate household items.
Review and Feedback: We analyze every moving company’s website, impersonate customers during conversations with them, and read client reviews to evaluate each moving services provider, transit protection, and customer service. We also talk to actual customers about how their moves went from beginning to end.
Periodic Reviews and Updates: Every year, we repeat this procedure to keep our recommendations up-to-date with current information. We also make modifications throughout the year to our periodic reviews.
Now that you know about the best national movers, get to acquiring quotes from them. Comparing movers is the best way to finalize which one will be in charge of your move. Long distance moves can be incredibly taxing, so above all, ensure that you look after your health and get enough sleep. Being in good shape both physically and mentally will help you get through moving-day and the weeks before and after like nothing else can.
Recommended Useful Resources
- Moving Out of State Checklist
- Best Out of State Moving Companies
- Trusted Long Distance Movers in the Country
- Professional Cross Country Movers
- Moving Cost Calculator Tool