Budget Van Lines Review (2022)

Budget Van Lines is one of the nation’s largest moving brokers. They advertise “full-service moving at self-service prices” and boast potential savings of up to 50%. This provider’s service model utilizes a network of thousands of truckers and moving companies across the U.S. Moving will always be a stressful experience, and BVL looks to alleviate some of that stress by handling the booking process for you. Read on to learn more about:

  • Budget Van Lines’ service offerings
  • What your Budget Van Lines move should cost
  • What past clients thought of their moves with BVL

Our Budget Van Lines Review

For over a decade, Budget Van Lines has been one of the leading moving brokers in the U.S. An extensive partner network affords them the necessary flexibility to assist clients in almost any location. With the low rates, they can provide many budget-conscious clients with an easier route to a full-service move.

The flipside is the variance in quality that moving brokers such as Budget are invariably prone to. The wealth of partners across more than 40 states is an asset. However, there is very little such a company can do to ensure uniformity across a large area, mainly when they don’t directly employ these movers.

We advise thoroughly vetting any partner company that Budget may assign to your move. You can request your mover’s information from BVL before signing your contract. Doing so and looking over customer reviews and the registration status for that given carrier is the best way to ensure a stress-free move.

Pros & Cons of Moving with Budget Van Lines

Pros

  • Consistently low rates for a range of moving services
  • A large partner network makes booking a move in any location relatively easy
  • Quick online quotes

Cons

  • Clients report hidden fees and upcharges from some Budget partners 
  • Some clients report repeated phone calls from movers well after their move has been booked

How Much Does Budget Van Lines Cost?

Budget Van Lines advertises full-service moving at self-service fees. Prices are definitely below industry averages but are still notably higher than they would be if you were to rent a U-Haul and do the work yourself. For example, a Los Angeles to New York move is always going to be costly, even with the most basic of moving packages.

Budget makes getting quotes easy via their website. Before you take the step of supplying your contact information, however, we’ve provided some sample rates for you to look over here. Across the board, interstate moving costs are below industry averages, at around $2,900. All prices are based on move size, move distance, added services, and the timing of the move:

Move Size Moving Route Move Distance Total Cost
One bedroom Victorville, CA – San Antonio, TX 1,339 miles $4,500
One bedroom Cleveland, Ohio – Canyon Country, CA 2,336 miles $5,000
Two bedrooms Port Hueneme, CA – Richmond, VA 2,673 miles $4,500
Three bedrooms San Francisco, CA – Seattle, WA 808 miles $10,000

Budget’s low purported prices come with a couple of caveats. You’ll be charged a non-refundable booking fee when you schedule a move through this provider. Some reports list this fee at over $500, but this will be determined by the size of your move in most cases.

In addition to this, “bait-and-switch” tactics have been reported on the part of Budget’s moving partners. Price inflation after you’ve received your initial quote can be combated by getting hard copies of your moving estimate and moving contract from both Budget and from the partner company that will handle your move. If either balk at supplying you with such documentation, then you should take your business elsewhere. 

What Services Does Budget Van Lines Offer?

Budget Van Lines Inc. partners with thousands of moving companies throughout the continental United States. Whether moving a one-bedroom apartment or a large house, Budget is a solid option for a discounted move. The partners in your area will always limit exact service offerings.

Residential Moving

Budget partners are able to provide a full suite of basic and additional services for private residential clients. Your household goods will be well-cared for by a Budget partner in your area. When they arrive for pickup, you’ll be treated to loading, unloading, essential furniture protection, and released liability coverage, all included in your base price. Additional services are available from most movers upon request.

Corporate Moving

If you’re looking to move your business or office space, Budget will likely be able to help. Whether you’d prefer a basic move or need custom packing or crating for special equipment, your Budget quote will reflect your exact service needs.

Possible Add-ons

Of course, your moving add-on service availability will vary between locations. Budget movers can typically assist with the following specialty services:

  • Packing
  • Custom crating
  • Next-day service
  • Storage services
  • Debris removal
  • Cleaning
  • And more

If your move includes add-ons, then you should obtain copies of your contract and moving estimate. Review these documents entirely, and be wary of fine print or provisions for added fees.

Service Area & Availability

You’ll have to check budgetvanlines.com to find movers in your area. The number of partner companies available will depend largely on your exact location. Budget partners with moving companies in more than 40 states, including:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida,
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How To Schedule With Budget

Similar to many other moving brokers, Budget Van Lines offers free quotes online. When you get your preliminary estimate from them, you’ll be asked to supply contact info, including an email and phone number. They will then pass your contact information to local moving companies nearby. For some, this can be considered an undue hassle. Phone calls after moves have already been booked are a common complaint among BVL clients.

The planning process for a BVL move will be similar to that of any other move. Begin taking inventory of your home around eight weeks ahead of time. Aim to get a moving quote from a Budget partner carrier by the six-week mark and have your move booked a month in advance. Your transition to a new home should be fairly painless if you get ahead of things.

Best Full-Service Mover

  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Budget Van Lines Customer Reviews

When you evaluate moving companies before booking, customer reviews are going to be an incredibly important resource. That said, your experience with Budget’s brand of moving services will be entirely dependent on the provider they broker your move out to. All such moving companies should come equipped with the following:

  • State registration: Most states will have their own regulatory bodies, which will mandate certain insurance coverages and business licensing. Aside from this, they will often set maximum rate tariffs, which movers must adhere to. Most governing organizations will have assigned numbers that movers will display on all trucks and contracts.
  • Federal registration: Movers conducting interstate business or long-distance moving must maintain FMCSA registration. They will also have to carry active US DOT and MC numbers. These can be used to look up a mover’s registration status and complaint history through this link.
  • Workers’ compensation coverage: This policy is a must for any moving company. It protects you in the event of a work-related injury during your move. Without this coverage, you could be held liable for damages or lost wages.
  • Released liability coverage and valuation options: Released liability coverage provides the minimum reimbursement amount in case of loss or damage to your goods. The $0.60 per pound, per item it covers is included in your move’s base price. If need be, you can supplement this with valuation coverage from most movers.

Michelle found her moving experience with Budget to be far better than a previously planned move with Allied Van Lines:

“I am leaving a good review as I find most people don’t do that.

I booked my move one month out for the month of December from SF, CA, to Seattle, WA. I was concerned about using a broker because I read many bad reviews. I even tried to get a quote with Allied Van Lines, but they were unorganized with the inventory list, tried to schedule a virtual tour, slow to respond, and never picked up their phone. With Budget Van Lines, I just went on their website and very easily added inventory. The updating part was a bit harder as I had to call or email, but it was easy enough.

From what I learned, Budget Van Lines is like Uber but for trucks. They hire drivers and then hire local movers. I got third-party extra insurance in case the items were lost or stolen, but tbh it was necessary, and a waste of $1500 since most of our stuff was old junk except for some expensive items. I had to pay a booking fee to Budget Van Lines and put down a deposit to get the name of the carrier, Southwest Van Lines. I submitted a very detailed inventory list and was on the phone with the company several times, and their customer service was easy to deal with.

I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks after the booking. The day before the movers arrived, I received both a call from the broker and carrier to confirm the time. On the day of the move, they both called again to confirm. The carrier arrived within the window provided. It took about 3 hours to load everything. We were charged an extra $2K on top of the quote because of items not on the inventory or carrier packing list, which I thought was fair. It seems the other bad reviews were that people underestimated their own inventory as we did. People have more stuff than they realize.

For the delivery, the driver was optimistic about the delivery date and said it would be delivered 1.5 days later at 9 am. Road conditions were bad as it had just snowed across all states, but we got lucky, and the roads were clear when we were driving up. The driver did call us a few times to say he was stuck at chain control but ended up getting through. The delivery came pretty much on time. All of our stuff was delivered in good condition. Some stuff got dinged up a bit, but it’s expected with a move. Only one small item was missing. Nothing else was damaged. Overall, we were happy everything went smoothly given it was an interstate move.”

Eli’s cross-country move with Budget also went according to plan:

“I used budget van lines which used Southwest Movers out of Las Vegas to move my household effects from Cleveland, Ohio to Valencia, California. Eli and his moving partner did an amazing job. They packed everything professionally, and there were no damaged items when they were delivered to California. They were fast and efficient, and I would highly recommend Southwest movers to anybody.”

The Good

When BVL moves go well, clients report on the professionalism and care shown by the movers in question. Even as a moving broker, Budget can usually guarantee low rates for service. The range of services offered is limited by its moving partners in any given area, but since this is a more popular provider for smaller moves, this typically doesn’t matter much. While it isn’t the end-all for moving company evaluations, Budget’s A+ rating with BBB is another positive indicator for potential clients.

The Bad

The negative side of dealing with any moving broker is the inconsistent quality of workmanship clients are treated to. Negative reviews report unprofessional movers or fly-by-night operators attempting to scam them or otherwise increase rates. When you get a quote from Budget, you should press for information about the exact mover who will be handling your move. If you are able to look them up individually, you’ll typically be in line for a positive experience.

Budget Van Lines FAQs

What is BVL's cancelation policy?

If you’re looking for a full refund from Budget, you may be disappointed. All booking fees are non-refundable. However, you won’t have to pay the total cost of your actual move if you cancel at least seven business days before moving day. Whether last-minute cancelations are allowed will depend on your particular movers’ policies.

Can Budget arrange for packing services?

Yes. Budget partners with numerous professional movers equipped to provide a range of services. These include crating, packing, storage, debris removal, and more.

How long should a cross-country move take?

Under optimal conditions, your movers will be able to cover around 400 miles per day. Due to DOT logging requirements, drive time restrictions, traffic, and other factors, this is around the most you can expect.

House Method Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched several dozen moving companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your move. 

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best moving companies on a 10-point scale based on the following criteria:

  • Moving Services (3.0): Does the company offer international, interstate, or local moving services? Or all three?
  • Additional Services (3.0): Does the company offer additional services such as packing/unpacking or loading/unloading?
  • Insurance Coverage (1.0): What kind of moving insurance coverage does the company offer, such as released value protection or full-value protection?
  • Trailers and Containers (1.0): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer to customers?
  • Benefits (1.0): What additional perks does the company offer? Some examples: storage, packing, free boxes, moving truck rentals, financing, etc.
  • Scheduling (.5): How are customers able to schedule their move, online, through the phone, or both? What is the ease of the scheduling process?
  • Reputation (.5): What kind of ratings does the company have on popular review sites such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and Trustpilot?

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