Home > Moving > American Van Lines Review (2022)

American Van Lines Review (2022)

Updated Oct 12, 2022

Updated Oct 12, 2022

Home > Moving > American Van Lines Review (2022)

We recommend the best products through an independent review process, and advertisers do not influence our picks. We may receive compensation if you visit partners we recommend. Read our advertiser disclosure for more info.

American Van Lines is one of the most well-established carriers in the moving industry. With more than 25 years of experience in providing some of the best direct assistance available to clients across the lower 48 states. With hubs located in Pompano Beach, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas, and numerous smaller locations throughout the U.S., AVL is within the effective service range of many prospective clients. Read on to learn more about:

  • American Van Lines’ costs
  • The services AVL can provide
  • What past customers think of their American Van Lines moving experience

Our AVL Review

American Van Lines is one of the leading options for moves of nearly any size or scope in the United States, and for a good reason. It offers a top range of essential and add-on services. Whether you need local moving assistance or are planning a move overseas, AVL is an excellent choice.

This mover’s main selling point is its flat-rate pricing. It offers this via binding estimates for all moves, which helps add peace of mind when setting a budget. Of course, this and all companies that offer flat rates will charge somewhat inflated rates to ensure that they don’t lose money on moves. For many, however, the assurances this pricing method can provide are well worth the elevated rates.

Those who book with American, and can be directly serviced by this mover, are served by employees who undergo rigorous background checks and training, thus adding to the quality of the customer experience.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Flat rate pricing
  • Shuttle services between major cities provide lower moving costs
  • Offers price matching for clients with competing quotes

Cons

  • Poor reviews report spotty customer service after booking
  • Deposits upon booking range between 10% and 50%

How Much Does AVL Cost?

American Van Lines rates run slightly above industry averages, but this is the tradeoff customers experience in exchange for guaranteed price points. Basic moves with AVL treat customers to service from efficient moving crews who are well-trained in the latest industry practices and can make even the most complex relocation a reasonably easy experience. 

Services offered in most baseline moving packages are typical for providers of this scale. These are loading and unloading, essential furniture protection, and released liability coverage. We’ve included some cost data from recent AVL moves to give you a better idea of what you should expect to pay for your move. Note that these are just average rates and that a visual estimate will be necessary to establish your exact price.

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,700 – $4,700$2,300 – $5,300$2,600 – $5,600$4,200 – $7,200
4 BR$4,800 – $7,800$5,600 – $8,600$7,400 – $10,400$10,800 – $13,800

Other Fees

While flat rates offer a degree of security, many negative reviews of AVL — and all other movers — mention additional service fees. Many of these complaints stem from a misconception of binding estimates and the free quote process in general. If you’ve been quoted a price based on the total weight of your household items, then you should note that your final cost may not be locked in until the truck has been weighed after your goods have been loaded.

Your price will be inflated by add-on services, such as packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly, crating for antiques, car shipping, and other such tasks. Be sure to disclose these up-front when you get a quote.

What Services Does American Offer?

American Van Lines offers a fairly typical array of services for a full-service moving company for residential and corporate relocations. Aside from the standard packing, crating, and furniture protection options most movers offer, we’ve listed this carrier’s focal points here.

Local Moving

American offers local moving for clients of any home size or need. Whether you’d like to do all of the necessary prep work on your own, such as packing, protecting your furniture, etc., or having your movers shoulder the entire burden for you, AVL can offer a viable solution. This mover highly touts its uniformed, background-checked moving crews for all local moving needs, only adding credibility to its quality assurance.

Long-Distance Moving

AVL is one of the best moving companies for your next long-distance or interstate move as a nationwide van line. It serves clients throughout the lower 48 states, including weekly shuttles between many major cities. If you go this route for your long-distance move, you could stand to save a fair amount of money.

International Moving

Serviced mainly from its hubs in North Carolina and South Florida, AVL’s international moving arm can provide relocation services to many other countries around the globe. You’ll be afforded a single point of contact throughout your entire move. Along with this service, your movers and customer service team will be able to handle all necessary customs paperwork. It will pack your goods per your destination country’s laws.

Storage Solutions

AVL provides climate-controlled, fully secure storage facilities for all short or long-term storage needs. While different American locations may be better suited for this than others, most will at least have access to or a partnership with a local storage company to house your goods efficiently.

Heavy Item Moving

If your move involves a piano, pool table, or another similarly heavy item, then the trained professionals this mover provides will be more than able to help. Your moving crews come equipped with the tools and know-how to safely get your specialty items to your new home. If you know you’ll have a specialty request in this area, you should inform your movers during the quote or early in the moving process. Such services can significantly affect your bottom line.

Antique and Fragile Item Moving

Access to certified and trained antique and fine art movers is another benefit of booking with this carrier. This will be folded into your flat American Van Lines cost as with any other add-on. If your movers are informed of this need ahead of your moving date, they will be able to bring the proper equipment to your home to assist with any specialty task. AVL’s trucks come equipped with air ride suspension and are always kept in optimal condition, so you can rest assured that your goods will make it to your new home safely.

Service Area & Availability

American is available for long-distance and local moving needs throughout all lower 48 states. They offer a full range of moving and storage services throughout this area via their Florida, North Carolina, and Texas hubs and many smaller satellite locations. If you’re in any of the following areas, this provider will be able to assist:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How To Schedule With American Van Lines

Booking a move with American Van Lines is similar to booking with any other major van line or mover. While AVL doesn’t provide online quotes, this company offers flat rates for all moves, making the lessened convenience worthwhile for many clients. By calling the phone number on AVL’s website or by filling out a simple contact form, you’ll be able to get your own free, no-obligation quote.

There are a few universal factors when evaluating such nationwide or large movers. They include:

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: All interstate movers have to carry such federal registration. You can look up the complaint history and registration status of a given mover here.
  • USDOT and MC numbers: Interstate movers have to carry both numbers and display them on all official company vehicles and documents.
  • Insurance coverage: This includes basic released liability coverage, as well as valuation options for your goods
  • Workers’ compensation insurance covers you if a worker is injured during a move.
  • BBB accreditation: This isn’t a requirement for movers, but it can be telling. Better Business Bureau accreditation and status can show quality, especially when combined with a service provider’s other customer reviews.

Why Trust House Method

  • 24 key factors analyzed
  • 1,000+ relocation services parsed
  • 1,000+ customer reviews analyzed

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 25 critical data points across multiple companies to identify what makes a great moving company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 40 moving providers for services provided, relocation costs, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their next move.

Most Transparent Pricing
American Van Lines
  • Flat rate pricing
  • Competitor price matching
  • Moving shuttles between major cities

AVL Reviews From Actual Customers

Customer reviews are a must-have resource when vetting the abilities of any local or long-distance moving company. If you’ve read through reviews or gone through this process, you’ll note that most experiences with moving quotes or personal estimates are positive. It is relatively easy for a mover to provide a good experience during a quote or look like a reputable operator through their company website. Customer reviews make up for this and give you an accurate picture of any company’s actual conduct.

We’ve collected a couple of customer reviews for American Van Lines’ moving services. While no reviews can give a total picture of any nationwide mover, these definitely show the potential upside for an AVL move.

Mary M reported a fantastic experience with American Van Lines:

“I worked with Ms. Dorothy Leonard at American Van Lines to book my move. I have simply been overwhelmed by her knowledge, honesty and sense of humanity. Moving is a stressful experience. At one point in our conversation, I burst into tears. Ms. Leonard comforted me and consoled me, not only to give me a straightforward move but also, seeking the best for me from my situation and giving advice from her life experience. If I could have her over for a thank-you dinner I would. She deserves it.

At the beginning of our interactions, Ms. Leonard taught me about the fundamentals of how to review a moving company for quality and responsibility; it’s no wonder that after her lesson and reviewing the competition, I was thrilled to come right back to American Van Lines and sign on the dotted line.

She’s also been extraordinarily flexible and accommodating of my requests and the difficult schedule I had in which she had small moments of time to communicate with me during the workweek. After the initial booking, she accommodated and facilitated changes made after my initial booking and made it smooth and simple.

I’ve already told friends anticipating a move about Ms. Leonard and given her direct extension number to work with her, promising amazing expertise, honesty and kindness.

She has gone above and beyond for my move, and it’s been a pleasure to work with her. She’s made me a American Van Lines Company client for life, and should she ever leave for another company, I would follow her! I was not paid to write this review… she’s just that great! When you call for an estimate from American Van Lines, I would ask for her (extension 405).”

Claudia’s move with American reflects both the positive and negative aspects of hiring professional movers:

“I would have given 4 1/2 stars if possible because.

The good: move was done flawlessly and on time. No damage at all.

The bad: communications after signing the contract were lacking and we had to threaten with our back up plan and the possibility of breach of contract.

The good:

I got quotes from 3 other major moving companies (IVL, UVL and Allied). The price and service requirements were similar across all. The only company that offered to ship our 2 bedroom house from PA to FL on a 26′ truck was AVL. The price was similar to needing a shuttle truck on both ends because of accessibility issues. This had the advantage that our belongings would only be handled twice instead of 4 times and the truck took the direct route and was there within 2 days. The crew was very professional, driver came in a 30′ AVL truck, 8am as promised both times. He did hire the packing crew locally on each end but they seemed to know what they were doing. We paid with a cashier’s check before unloading without any issues.

The bad:

After signing the contract I found the yelp reviews which are predominantly bad. That created a lot of anxiety for us. In order to hedge our bets, we reserved a 26′ Uhaul truck for the day after our loading window.

Once AVL started making noises of not being able to load on the days specified in our contract we clearly told them they either do it on those days or they don’t need to show up at all, and they are in breach of contract. All of a sudden they could do it on one of the two specified days.

Which brings me to the bad part:

Before I signed the contract it was really easy to get a hold of the sale person at AVL. After I signed the contract getting someone on the phone was hard, they wouldn’t reply to a lot of the emails confirming our loading date and itemized list. Pickup was supposed to happen on the 2nd loading day specified in our contract. The night before the first possible loading day we got a call from the driver that pickup was the next morning at 8am (1st loading day instead of 2nd). Luckily we had everything packed by then. And I was happy to get the ball rolling.

Fazit: Because it worked out well, I would probably do it again. But it was more emotional stress than I wanted and a back up plan was definitely needed in case they don’t show or start pushing the date. Our second major advantage was that we were the only ones on the truck and our driver was good. So, no holding hostage of our stuff and making detours or negotiating the price after the fact.”

The Good

Customers who booked with American Van Lines, and whose moves were completed as advertised (meaning, directly by AVL) reported positive experiences. These moves feature superior customer service, reliable flat-rate pricing, and moves conducted by fully background-checked moving crews. This is really all you can ask for from a large-scale mover.

The Bad

Movers with a national presence are going to have their fair share of bad reviews. It’s an unfortunate reality of the moving industry that, as a company spreads itself thinner, customer service in certain areas can take a big hit. That is definitely the case with AVL’s poor reviews. 

Negative experiences featured moves brokered out to third-party carriers — usually the lowest bidders in the area — as well as difficulties with contacting customer service representatives on the phone.

As a prospective client, this should highlight the importance of obtaining copies of your moving contract and moving estimate once you book. Doing this will be a legal safeguard against such negative customer service practices. If your mover is in breach of a contract, then you are under no obligation to continue your move with them.

AVL FAQs

What is a binding estimate?

Binding estimates almost always require a visual appraisal to be considered legally binding. Without this, you cannot reasonably rely on any quote given. Such estimates will not shift unless your service needs or inventory does. You should note that such estimates can change easily if they’re based on the total weight of your household goods. Once your moving truck has been weighed under the supervision of your move coordinator, you’ll be given your actual price.

Should I be wary of putting down a large deposit for my move?

American Van Lines requires high deposits for all moves it provides. As is the case with any move, you’d be well-served by getting copies of your move contract and receipt for your deposit after your credit card has been billed. Doing this and ensuring that your mover is fully registered and insured during the booking process will give you a fair amount of protection.

Can I purchase my own packing materials independently if I hire AVL for packing services?

You’re always free to purchase your own packing supplies and will probably be better off doing so well ahead of your move. Retailers such as Home Depot and U-Haul rate highly for quality and offer comprehensive lists of materials at affordable prices relative to what you’ll see from full-service movers.

When moving cross-country, will I be given a guaranteed delivery date?

You’ll typically be given delivery ranges rather than hard and fast delivery dates for lengthier interstate moves. Most movers will not be able to cover more than 400 miles per day when transporting household goods over the road. You should budget your time accordingly.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.

  • Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
  • Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
  • Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
  • Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
  • Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.

More Moving Resources