Home > Moving > North American Van Lines Review (2022)

North American Van Lines Review (2022)

Updated Nov 1, 2022

Updated Nov 1, 2022

Home > Moving > North American Van Lines Review (2022)

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Selecting the right professional mover for your exact needs is incredibly important if you want a stress-free relocation. For many, North American Van Lines is more than well-equipped to handle all associated moving needs. They have been an American moving mainstay for over 80 years and now boast a local agent network of more than 500 individual carriers. With comprehensive basic and additional services offered, a wide service area, and a variable pricing structure, NAVL is an excellent choice for your local and interstate moving needs. Read on to learn more about the following:

  • Whether your move aligns with the services North American Van Lines offers
  • How much your next move could cost with NAVL
  • What customer reviews say about NAVL’s service

Our NAVL Review

North American Van Lines currently enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the most established and trustworthy moving brands in the United States. The numerous local partners it employs and the wide range of services it offers make for positive moving experiences for all who book with them.

NAVL is best suited to handle large-scale, long-distance moves as an operator with a nationwide presence. They also offer a fair number of services directly catered to small moves. Its BlueExpress program can help to expedite many small moving needs. Apart from full-service moving, NAVL is also a top provider of more specialized moving tasks, such as packing, furniture assembly or disassembly, special furniture moving, and more.

Customer reviews point to this mover’s transparent pricing and quality of service. To our thinking, it is an excellent choice for any need, from local to cross-country relocations.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 500 local agents and locations throughout the U.S.
  • Variable pricing structure
  • Ample moving resources

Cons

  • Service quality can vary significantly between locations
  • Slightly higher costs than average industry rates

How Much Does North American Van Lines Cost?

NAVL’s pricing structure should be familiar if you’ve ever used professional movers in the past. As a provider of both local and long-distance moves, it employs multiple pricing methods.

All local moves with NAVL will be priced at hourly rates. Such moves will come with minimum fees. The exact amount of this varies between local carriers but will typically amount to a two to four-hour minimum charge, regardless of how long your move takes. This means that you can expect to pay a bare minimum of $600 for most local moving needs.

Long-distance, interstate, and cross-country moves will be billed based on the total weight of your goods and move distance. Such “line-haul fees” will often be determined following a truck weigh-in at a DOT or moving company scale. Most movers will have set processes in place to establish pricing. All moves with NAVL include a basic range of services, including:

  • Free quotes
  • Loading and unloading
  • Basic furniture protection
  • Basic liability coverage
  • Shipment tracking through the company’s website
  • Moving resources, including checklists and helpful guides on NAVL’s website
  • 24/7 customer service

Other services will cost extra. For a two-bedroom home moving 500 miles, a price range of $2,400 to $5,400 is pretty typical. We’ve included some basic pricing information here.

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,800 – $4,500$2,400 – $5,400$2,700 – $5,700$4,400 – $7,400
4 BR$3,300 – $6,000$5,700 – $8,700$7,500 – $10,500$10,900 – $13,900

Other Fees

North American Van Lines offers a couple of different pricing structures for all moves designed to make residential relocations accessible for clients on any budget. These include “bottom line” and “not to exceed” options. As such, hidden fees don’t typically appear in negative customer reviews. You can expect the following add-ons to substantially inflate your costs:

Full-Service Packing

This is typically the most expensive single add-on service. Comprehensive packing will often include material costs for moving boxes, packing paper, tape, mattress bags, and more. These costs will typically be marked up, so you could save money by purchasing your own through a retailer. U-Haul and Home Depot boxes generally are your best options for quality.

Crating

Custom crates for antiques or art can be time-consuming for your movers and can have high material costs. It could be a necessary task if you have high-value goods that need such protection. NAVL provides this service, although the quality of custom crates could vary from location to location.

Storage

Most NAVL local agents will be able to offer some short and long-term storage options. Exact rates will be determined independently between locations.

Heavy Item Moving

Added fees for heavy items such as pool tables, jacuzzis, home saunas, and certain home fitness equipment are standard across the moving industry. You should mention any items you think could fall under this umbrella to your move coordinator during the quote process.

Car Shipping

Depending on your location, NAVL could handle vehicle shipments directly or broker them out to a third party. Beyond a base fee, long-distance vehicle shipping will cost between $1 and $2 per mile, depending on the kind of transport you need. Closed-container vehicle shipping will be the most expensive option.

Full Value Protection

All moves will come with a baseline level of protection in the form of released liability coverage. This provides for a small amount of reimbursement if your goods are lost or damaged by your movers.

If you feel that you need more protection, NAVL offers full-value coverage. For a price of $8 per $1,000 of value covered, you’ll be able to provide reimbursement for any item in your move. This requires that you declare a minimum value of $5 per pound of goods. You can declare a higher value, but this minimum must be adhered to. So, for a 2,000-pound move, you’ll have to cover a minimum of $10,000 of value if you opt for this coverage. At that value, you’d pay $80 extra for complete protection.

Remember that damage claims must be filed on or shortly after your delivery date in order to have a reasonable chance of success. Claims disputes are a common point of contention between movers and clients. Getting ahead of this before your movers leave your new home is always recommended.

What Services Does NAVL Offer?

North American’s offerings below include provisions for both residential and corporate relocations. No matter how far you’re moving, you’ll be able to pick and choose your exact desired add-on services when you get a quote. The professionals at NAVL know that all moves are unique and pose unique challenges to both client and mover alike. With that in mind, they aim to expedite the process with comprehensive moving packages for all customers.

Local Moving

While its strength definitely lies in providing assistance on lengthier moves, North American Van Lines offers reliable local moving help across all 50 states. Each state has a slightly varied definition of what constitutes a local move, with 40, 50, and 100 miles being common cutoff points. Again, when you book a local relocation, you’ll be charged an hourly rate rather than a flat fee for move distance and total weight.

Long-Distance Moving

Long-distance and interstate moving is NAVL’s strong point. The bottom line and not-to-exceed pricing structures it offers clearly cater to such relocations. This mover carries all necessary federal licensing via the FMCSA, including USDOT and MC numbers, and all of its local agents are fully licensed and in good standing within their home states. No matter where your move is, traveling within the United States, NAVL will be able to provide quality assistance.

International Moving

As a large-scale van line, North American is able to provide a full suite of international services to more than 130 other countries outside of the U.S. It carries full licensing for shipping via air and sea to help carry out moves for clients of varying needs. You should visit their international moving FAQ page for more information about the planning and execution of such relocations.

BlueExpress

North American also provides a dedicated solution for small-scale moving needs. BlueExpress is this moving giant’s answer to moving containers and DIY moves. If you have a small shipment of under 4,000 pounds, this may be one of the best options for you. This long-distance and interstate moving solution makes planning a small move easily accessible for moving clients everywhere, with plenty of add-ons and basics included in the base price. For one flat rate, you’ll be afforded the following:

  • Guaranteed pickup date
  • Guaranteed delivery time between 8-12 days after pickup
  • Packing services
  • Valuation coverage

A huge bonus of this service plan is the lack of a minimum weight charge. You’ll be billed a flat rate based on the actual (not estimated) weight of your shipment. BlueExpress is especially attractive to clients moving to major cities since these containers can be delivered for unloading into fairly tight spaces.

Service Area & Availability

NAVL’s 500 branches and local agents operate throughout all 50 states, with service provided to Canada and Puerto Rico and 130 other countries worldwide. You should contact NAVL well ahead of your moving date for international moving — at least three months before your move. This will be necessary to ensure a smooth planning process and to clear any logistical hurdles associated with customs or shipping restrictions.

For domestic service, North American can operate in these areas:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • 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 North American

Just as you should with any moving company, your vetting process should begin around two months before your moving date. Begin by getting quotes from all movers you’re interested in. After fielding offers from multiple operators, you should make every effort to book your move a month in advance. You may want to act a month further in advance for both of these tasks on your moving checklist for international moves of any scope.

With North American, your quote process can begin with a phone call or by filling out a contact form on the company’s website. Once you’ve provided contact information and some basic facts about your move, you’ll be contacted by a customer service representative (move coordinator) to schedule a virtual or in-person estimate. During this, all of your goods and add-on services will be taken into consideration to render a fair and accurate estimate. You should note that any estimate based on shipment weight is subject to change based on the actual weight of the goods loaded onto a NAVL truck. For this reason, any “bottom line” or “not to exceed” pricing figures may estimate your costs on the high side.

North American Van Lines’ comprehensive moving guides and resources for prospective clients help to ensure that you leave no stone unturned when booking a move of any size.

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.

Best Pricing Options
North American Van Lines
  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

North American Van Lines Reviews From Actual Customers

Customer reviews are an essential resource when evaluating any mover. The best moving companies will have a wealth of such feedback available on numerous platforms, including Yelp, Google, Better Business Bureau, and social media. Any company can make a positive impression during an in-home estimate, but these reviews will give a far more candid and unfiltered look into their actual practices. This feedback will provide you with a great deal of insight into the following:

  • Customer treatment
  • Quality and breadth of add-on service offerings
  • Accuracy of stated moving costs and estimates

Mary from Florida had this to say about her long-distance move with NAVL:

“I was very nervous about selecting the right moving company during my recent move from N.J. to F.L. North American Van Lines quoted the best price, so I was even more nervous they would serve as promised. From the very beginning, they followed up consistently. The driver (Brad Bax) and crew showed up early on moving day and delivery day, they got right to work and never complained about anything. They were professional and friendly. Lisa, my coordinator called while they were there to check in to make sure everything was going well. Lisa also called many times to make sure I received calls from the driver regarding timing and see if I had any questions or concerns. All in all, North American Van Lines was terrific. Honestly, I can’t think of one thing to complain about.”

Keith’s move from Florida to Lancashire in the U.K. went exceptionally well and ended up costing him $9,500. He left the following review:

“There are many small companies that work as representatives of North American. I was fortunate to find a south Florida company called Arnoff Moving and Storage after trying different international moving companies for an estimate. The owner personally came and provided the estimate. All was taken care of, and a full schedule for pick up and delivery to my U.K. address was provided. All went smoothly. The second move was from north of Daytona Beach to another U.K. address. My partner called six international movers for a quote. Two responded, but only one estimator turned up at the scheduled day and time! Finally, in despair, she called Arnoff some 200 miles south, who asked her to provide a comprehensive list of what was being shipped. Based on the list, they provided an estimate for everything from pickup and packing to unpacking at the final destination at a very reasonable cost. The crew arrived right on time, did a superb job of packing and labeling including having us check their work and sign off on the sheets as they were loaded. All arrived in the U.K. on time with one minor breakage. FIRST CLASS OPERATION.”

Pamela had this to say about her moving experience with NAVL:

“I used North American Van Lines for a recent move from New Jersey to California (Los Angeles area). After reading online reviews about moving companies, I was terrified at the thought of having to select a moving company since all seemed to have awful consumer ratings. What I learned in the process was that North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines have merged and they are now known as SIRVA. 

My job was called into “North American Van Lines” and was assigned locally to an agent and affiliate company called L&J Transportation in Tempe, PA (also office in Pottstown). L&J picked-up my belongings on time as per schedule. The quote they gave was guaranteed not to exceed because they came out and did an inventory. The dropped off in California was just 6 days later way ahead of schedule. Movers were professional and pleasant. They took things apart and put them back together at my destination. A few minor damages were found on unpacking but these were items I had packed myself and cost no more than $10.00 each, otherwise no damages were found.

I’m absolutely thrilled with the service provided. The L&J office gave great customer service checking in with me during the transition.

I would recommend them to others and I would use them again if I needed to.”

The Good

North American Van Lines’ expansive partner network of local affiliates and agents means that you’re likely within this mover’s service range. Customer reviews commonly mention NAVL’s transparent pricing as well. Given that this is generally a common source of contention between clients and professional moving companies, this is a welcome strength for any provider to have. This is largely responsible for their A+ rating on BBB.

The Bad

As is the case with many large moving companies with a national presence, quality can vary greatly between its many locations. Before you book with this mover, you should look up customer reviews specific to NAVL’s agents in your area.

North American Van Lines FAQs

Are individual state licenses necessary for interstate movers to have?

No. Interstate movers will have to carry federal licensing with the FMCSA. They will also have to carry active USDOT and MC numbers. Beyond this, your interstate mover will only have to be registered within its primary state of origin or operation.

What basic insurance is included with every move?

Released liability coverage is included in your base move cost when you book with any provider. This plan reimburses you at a federal minimum rate of $0.60 per pound per item. While it won’t cover the value of most goods, it is the base coverage that all clients receive. If your move includes a number of fragile items or antiques, you should consider valuation coverage as a viable option. This will cost more, but most large movers will be able to provide this for you.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding estimate is a quote that will not shift unless your inventory or moving services list does. Such estimates are subject to the 10% rule, which is universally adhered to across the moving industry. This rule states that no final move bill can exceed a written estimate by more than 10% unless the client in question has added tasks onto a move after an estimate has been rendered.

Do homeowners' insurance policies cover damage or loss to household items during a move?

Full value protection is often best purchased from your mover rather than your homeowner or renter’s policy. While movers aren’t licensed as insurance vendors, the coverage they offer functions in much the same way. You’ll be able to purchase varying levels of coverage, depending on the actual declared value of your goods. Remember that most claims must be filed reasonably soon after any damage has been incurred. As soon as your movers leave your new home, your chances of filing a successful claim will greatly decline. Supervise the unloading process to get ahead of this.

How far ahead of my move should I begin planning?

Your planning process should ideally begin around two months ahead of time. This goes for even the smallest of local relocations. Beginning the researching phase of your move while starting to do some light packing around this time will make you feel far less stressed as moving day approaches.

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.

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