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Top 5 Best Moving Van Lines

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When looking at your move, you may have considered using a moving van line. The questions you might be asking yourself is: just what is a van line, what is the best van line for my move, and how can I narrow it down? This guide will answer all your questions and then some.

The best van lines are:

  • Atlas Van Lines
  • Allied Van Lines
  • Mayflower Van Lines
  • United Van Lines
  • Wheaton Van Lines
  • Budget Van Lines*
 Atlas AlliesMayflowerUnitedWheatonBudget
Storage Option?YesYesYesYesYesNo
Discounts Offered?YesNoNoNoYesNo
Online Tracking?YesYesYesYesNoNo

What is a Van Line?

A van line is a company that uses vans (or trucks) to move cargo from one point to another.

What does that mean? Van lines are companies that have their own fleets of moving vehicles that move a family from point A to point B. Typically van lines can be a little more expensive because they put out a lot of work and effort towards you, their customer. They are usually great for specialty moves (such as moving to a remote location or internationally).

So, van lines are really good for remote or international moves. Typically, these companies have a lot of experience and dedication to what they're doing, and they are extremely reliable. While you might find cheaper moving prices online, those services will not give you the concierge experience of a van line. That’s why researching is always so important.

Now that you have a better understanding of what van lines are, let's go over the best van lines out there.

The Best Van Lines

For the van lines we looked at, the online reviews varied. Oftentimes, people will only post their negative experiences and never relay their positive moves, so we tend to take reviews with a grain of salt.

It is important to remember that the logistics involved in a cross-country move are never easy, and many times a van line will have multiple residence’ belongings in one trailer. That means that, undoubtedly, some of your boxes might end up in their stuff, and vice versa. That doesn’t mean the van line stole your stuff, it means that accidents happen.

One other important thing to remember: these companies have been around for a long time. They are bound to have some upset customers over the years. That isn’t to say the negative reviews should be ignored or shouldn’t be taken into account, what we’re pointing out is that you should research to the best of your ability.

Atlas Van Lines

Atlas Van Lines

Atlas Van Lines offers many different services, including auto transport, valuation (where the company will repair or replace any item that is broken), professional packing, storage options, and you can even purchase moving supplies from them.

In looking at Atlas' website, we found that they offer a pretty good discount to AAA members. While we couldn’t look at quotes without entering in personal information - it asks where you are, where you’re moving to, when you’re moving, what size home you have, your name, phone number, email, and whether or not you’re a AAA member- if you are what your member number is and what your promo code is.

Atlas also offers valuation. They offer FVP (or full-value protection) which is $6.00 times the total weight of your stuff, in pounds, that they will cover. They also offer minimal protection, which is the total weight of your stuff times $0.60. They will automatically sign you up for FVP, so if you don’t want that let them know!

Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines is one of the largest van lines on the globe, so you can trust them to come through for whatever move you have. They have lots of services, including household moving (personalized moving plans that can even include shuttle services if their truck won’t fit up your driveway), long-distance and cross-country moving, Interstate moving, corporate relocation (where your company pays for you to move), international moving, storage options, and they also offer packing supplies.

Allied has a lot of options that you can add to your move. For a cross-country move, you can also get:

  • Auto transport
  • Shuttle services (as stated above)
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Full-service packing
  • Full-value protection
  • Live shipment tracking
  • Storage options

We really like Allied’s options, and while we couldn’t get a personal quote for us, they say on their website that a typical cross-country and interstate move is around $3,500. So, their prices are transparent.

Mayflower Van Lines

Mayflower Van Line

Mayflower has been in the moving industry since 1927, so they may have some idea what they’re doing. If you have a smaller move (from a 1-3-bedroom home or apartment, a dorm, or any smaller move you may qualify for a Snapmove). Snapmoves is Mayflower’s smaller move program and you can get it even if you are moving across the country. Included in your Snapmove is:

  • A move coordinator
  • Loading, unloading, and transporting belongings
  • FVP (full-value protection)
  • Assembly and disassembly of bed frames
  • Furniture placement

For the Snapmove, you can also choose to add on:

  • Debris pickup
  • Network setup
  • TV setup
  • Car shipping

Of course, these are all options for larger moves that you can add on as well. While getting a quote is difficult, we do like that Mayflower lays out all their add-ons upfront. We also like that there is an option for smaller moves since not everyone has a massive home to pack up and haul across the country.

United Van Lines

United Van Lines

One thing to note is that Mayflower and United are owned by the same parent company, UniGroup. So, United also has Snapmoves, the same type of quote system, and very similar add-ons as well.

Of course, the difference between the two of these businesses will come down to price. It is important to get quotes from both Mayflower and United to determine the true differences between the two companies.

One feature we liked is the Track My Shipment feature where you can see where your stuff is. They also only hire background-checked people, so you can have faith in who is packing up your stuff.

Wheaton Van Lines

Wheaton Van Lines

Wheaton offers a variety of moves, including:

  • Household moves
    • Interstate moves
    • Local moves
  • Corporate relocation
  • International moves
  • Government and military moves
  • Commercial moves
  • Specialized moves
    • Piano moves
    • Hospitality moves
    • Special commodity moves

They also offer storage solutions, packing options, moving supplies, and FVP services as well. Another cool thing about Wheaton is their discounts. They offer $150 off for people moving during the off-season (September 1- April 30) they also offer discounts for those associated with the National Association of Senior Move Managers, the National Active Retired Federal Employee, as well as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, as well as many others.

With Wheaton’s discounts and services offered, they are a great contender to look at for your move.

*Budget Van Lines*

Budget Van Lines is a bit misleading. They are a moving broker, not an actual van line. What that means is that they connect you to moving companies by getting your information and connecting you to a booking agent. Typically moving brokers are not as reliable because they will connect you to the cheapest moving service, and cheaper does not equal better. With that being said, Budget Van Lines is licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is a more trusted name among moving brokers.

Which Van Line Should You Choose?

Unsure about which van line to choose for your move? Here are some things you need to look at:

How far is the move?

  • If you’re moving in town then a van line might not be for you

How much are you moving?

  • Quotes and prices are judged by the weight of your items, so take that into account when getting quotes

What are the reviews?

  • While it’s good to take the reviews with a grain of salt, it is also essential to look at the reviews to see what people are saying
  • If there is an overwhelming amount of people saying "it took 3 months to get my stuff" then maybe stray away from that company

Get quotes from different companies

  • Shop around and look at the best quotes and what services you get for that price

Katherine Broome  Posted by Katherine Broome on November 24, 2020

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