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Bekins Van Lines Review

128 Years of Experience in the Moving Industry


    Our Overall Rating87%
    Top Services
    • Long-Distance and Local Residential Moving
    • Corporate Moving Services
    • Specialized Moves
    Updated for August 18, 2021
    • Is Active Active
    • USDOT Licence# 2256609

    You’re unlikely to find many moving companies as established as Bekins Van Lines. Back in 1891, the company became one of the household moving pioneers of the US.

    Best for Storage Services


    • Provides self-storage services
    • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
    • Reserve storage space online

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

    • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
    • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

    Best Moving Add-ons

    American Van Lines

    • Local & Long-Distance Moving
    • Storage Options Available
    • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

    Bekins Van Lines now offers both residential and commercial moves, including those for government employees and military members. 

    With so many years in business, it’s no surprise that Bekins Van Lines specializes in full-service local, interstate, and international moves that take a bit more coordination.

    Our team has analyzed today’s most well-known moving services across the country, including top names like Bekins Van Lines. Each company on our list is highly regarded in the industry and is both a licensed and certified moving carrier.

    In this guide, we’ll let you know what to expect with Bekins, including its rating for things like:

    • Transparency 
    • Pricing
    • Services
    • Reputation

    Overview of Bekins Van Lines

    There are a few things that stood out to us about Bekins Van Lines. First of all, the company has been a family-run business for over a century. While its headquarters are based in Indianapolis, the Bekins moving team now has locations in over 150 offices in the US.

    Most importantly, the company lists its certification and USDOT number with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and is accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating.

    Bekins offers extensive services for complex moves whether you’re moving long-distance, locally, or to a new country. It also offers an impressive list of add-ons to streamline your moving experience. These include:

    • Packing and unpacking services
    • Discounted packing supplies
    • Specialized care for delicate items
    • Short and long-term storage
    • International moving coordination

    Most impressively, customers can get a ballpark estimate of their moving costs right on the Bekins website. This is quite uncommon for large national chains like these and provides a starting point for your search if you’re still figuring out your budget.

    Best for Storage Services

    • Provides self-storage services
    • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
    • Reserve storage space online

    Best Full-Service Mover

    • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
    • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

    Best Moving Add-ons

    • Local & Long-Distance Moving
    • Storage Options Available
    • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

    Best for Military Moves

    • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
    • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
    • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

    Best for Protection Insurance

    • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
    • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
    • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

    Bekins Van Lines' Rating Breakdown

    Cost of Moving
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    Can Bekins Van Lines Move Me?

    Save time and get the answers you need right away with a free quote from our Bekins Van Lines.


    Bekins Van Lines goes above and beyond during its moving quote process compared to other large companies. If you’re moving cross country, enter your basic moving data into the online form and receive a ballpark quote. You should note that this service is not available for local moves and only lists quotes for US long-distance relocations.

    Here are a few more things you need to know about Bekins Van Lines and its level of transparency across the board.


    We really enjoy that Bekins aims to keep your budget in mind during the moving process. After receiving the ballpark quote, the team will schedule an in-home estimate or virtual walkthrough to detail your moving costs.

    Afterward, Bekins explains what you can expect:

    • A no-obligation in-home quote to inventory your items and note special details
    • The option to add extra insurance based on the valuation of your items
    • Packing and extra services to tailor your contract

    Bekins also offers what they call an alternative survey. Schedule a virtual tour of your home or enter your inventory manually without the in-person visit. 

    Basic Services and Extras

    Bekins provides a standard selection of base-level and add-on services for both local and interstate moves. 

    With each relocation, you can expect a free ballpark estimate, an in-home estimate, basic liability coverage, and loading and unloading. They also have an app to track your shipment, which is particularly helpful for long-distance moves. 

    All additional plans, such as for packing services and the use of storage facilities, are clearly marked as an extra fee on the Bekins Van Lines website. We’ll detail these a bit more below.

    Communications and Expectations

    We did detect some communication issues when sorting through the customer reviews for Bekins Van Lines. Some of the most common complaints referred to the moving process itself, particularly after the basic estimate and signing a contract. 

    Many customers felt that they did not receive a high value of care and noted some damaged or missing items upon arrival.

    Hiring Process

    Bekins Van Lines specifies that it does perform background checks on all of its employees. According to its quality assurance page, the company also uses data-backed research to track its moving process to improve with each job.


    The company lists a phone number and direct email for filing claims should something go wrong during your move. Additional policies on its website include:

    • Payments must be made before items are unloaded from the truck
    • Customers can upgrade to full replacement value protection
    • The company accepts cash, money order, a range of certified checks. Credit cards are accepted with prior credit approval.

    We noted that the cancellation policy was not clearly noted online.

    Bekins Van Lines Transparency

    Bekins Van Lines
    Industry Average
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    Overall, Bekins Van Lines prices fall in line with the rest of the moving industry for residential moves. We enjoy the range of cost-saving opportunities for different types of moves, including:

    • Off-season perks: Receive $150 off your move, $150 back when the truck misses the delivery window, 15% off full replacement value coverage, and $25 back per day if claims are not resolved in 30 days.
    • Retired federal employee: Receive up to $100,000 of full replacement value coverage and guaranteed drop-off and pick-up times
    • Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS): Customers are asked to fill out a form to hear more about specific discounts.

    Cost of Basic Moving and Add-On Services

    Move.org outlines a sample free quote through Bekins Van Lines’ online estimate tool. These sample prices provide a low and high-end cost for a three-bedroom home moving 1,100 miles. They requested the quote for late April about three weeks before the move.

      • Base price for moves without extra services: $4,340.14-$5,217.19
      • Moves with partial-packing services: $5,363.76-$6,496.59
      • Moves with full packing services: $6,046.18-$7,349.53

    If you choose to add full replacement value coverage, prices increase between $600 and $700 depending on the lower and high ballpark estimates.

    Estimate and Payment Process

    As we noted above, Bekins Van Lines is one of the only national movers to offer ballpark quotes right on its website. You will, however, have to arrange an in-person or visual home walkthrough to get a binding quote.

    If you plan to move locally, the company requests that you speak with a regional Bekins Van Lines agent for more information.

    We were unable to find details about a required deposit, but full payment is due before your movers unload the truck at your new home.

    Who is the Best Financial Fit for Bekins Van Lines?

    Even the best moving companies are not right for every budget. Bekins Van Lines specializes in full-service moves, so we recommend their services for long-distance and international moves as well as complex local relocations.

    We should note that Bekins goes out of its way compared to other companies to offer several discounts and partial services plans.

    Bekins Van Lines Cost-Value vs. Competitors

    Bekins Van Lines
    Industry Average
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    Bekins Van Lines claims to be a carrier service that does not broker out its services. The company manages a team of professional movers, packers, and drivers as well as its own fleet of trucks. It also offers storage units across the country.

    Entry-Level Services

    To recap, Bekins Van Lines offers:

    • Local moving
    • Long-distance moving 
    • International moving
    • Employee relocation
    • Corporate moving
    • Government and military moving
    • Specialized moving (hotel owners, medical facilities, etc.)

    Each of these moves includes loading and unloading, basic protective equipment, and a team of professional movers in your quote. Above all, the company claims to provide a stress-free moving process from start to finish.

    Extra Services

    The company checks all the boxes when it comes to extra moving services you might need for a big relocation. These include:

    • Packing and unpacking
    • Long and short-term storage services
    • Discount packing supplies
    • Bulky and unique furniture protection
    • Antique and specialty item crafting
    • Piano moving
    • Auto-shipping
    • International coordination
    • Extra valuation protection

    Company Strengths

    If you’re on the hunt for industry experience, Bekins Van Lines are some of the best movers for the job. With over 125 years in the business, they’ve faced all the challenges that come with complex moves.

    While Bekins may not be ideal for the DIY mover, they do take great care when it comes to complicated relocations that require extra coordination.

    Bekins Van Lines Services Ratings

    Bekins Van Lines
    Industry Average
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    Bekins Van Lines has expanded over its century of experience, setting a lot of records along the way. The company was the first to transition the moving industry to trucks in 1903 and completed a transcontinental move by truck for the first time in 1928.

    In 2012, Wheaton Van Lines purchased Bekins, but it retained its name.

    We’ve outlined what customers have to say about Bekins Van Lines in each common category you need to know.

    Customer Care

    The longevity of the company shines through in its top-rated customer care. We noted that many past clients rave about the team’s responsiveness during the estimate process and general professionalism on move day itself.

    Skip M. from Indianapolis noted on Google, “Crews on both sides were great, but the destination crew was literally the best I’ve ever seen – care for our belongings, amazing attitude, care for our home, and great communication. “


    As we mentioned above, the costs for long-distance moves with Bekins tend to run close to slightly above the national averages. 

    However, we did find some complaints about the final price costing more than the initial estimate. While this is not uncommon—particularly with non-binding quotes—we recommend paying close attention to your contract to ensure your final amount.

    Reliability and Efficiency

    Bekins Van Lines received top marks for moving quickly and arriving on top at their destination. Customers mentioned that they received every service they were promised in their contract as well as clear communication during the move.

    For example, Joli T. on Google notes, “We’ve moved 20 times and this was far and away the best move we’ve ever had. The moving crew worked very efficiently together, the driver was very informative and the whole crew understood what customer service was all about.”

    Care and Professionalism

    When we did come across a negative review, it unfortunately frequently pertained to broken or missing items, particularly on the Better Business Bureau website.

    One customer on Move.org outlined, “They did not wrap several pieces of furniture and my mattress as advertised and agreed upon. In addition, they did not place my items in safe storage for two weeks as paid for, instead letting them ride around in a truck while other deliveries were made. The furniture and mattress arrived wet, stained, and damaged.”

    For this reason, we highly recommend looking into additional valuation coverage and looking closely at your contract before signing.

    Bekins Van Lines Reputation

    Bekins Van Lines
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    Our Overall Review

    Bekins Van Lines has an impressive history of experience in the business. They are a great match for residents or businesses moving long-distance or across the world.

    However, they are not as cost-effective for those looking to manage a large portion of the move themselves, particularly for local moves. 

    Here are some pros and cons to consider before hiring Bekins Van Lines.


    • Over 125 years of moving experience
    • Comprehensive moving services
    • Online ballpark estimates
    • Free home walkthroughs
    • Moving discounts


    • Fewer options for self-service moves
    • Poor reviews for handling and professionalism
    • Miscommunication with estimates and pricing

    Bekins Van Lines FAQs

    Does Bekins Van Lines Offer Local Moves?

    Yes, Bekins offers both local and long-distance moves. Unlike their interstate estimates, however, you will need to speak with a sales representative to receive a quote.


    Local moves also include packing, unpacking, storage, and specialty moving options for an extra fee.

    Does Bekins Van Lines Require You to Empty Dresser Drawers?

    No, according to the website’s FAQ section, you can leave your items in your drawers as long as they are properly secured. You should also empty items if you plan to put them into storage.


    Drawers cannot contain any of the items that Bekins will not move, including:

    • Matches and lighters
    • Chemicals like paint and paint thinners
    • Firearms
    • Household cleaning agents
    • Aerosol cans
    • Fire extinguishers

    You can peruse the whole list of what not to pack here.

    What is the Busiest Season to Move with Bekins?

    Bekins performs the majority of its moves between May and September. If you move outside of these months, you may qualify for a discount on your overall move, special insurance rates, and delivery time guarantees.


    If you’re looking to work with one of the oldest moving companies in the industry, Bekins is a strong option. Their full-service moving options and dedicated team provide top service to customers around the country.

    Get a Free Bekins Van Lines Quote

    Bekins Van Lines is a solid option if you’re taking on a complex move. However, we always recommend comparing at least three moving companies to get the best quotes and service.

    Get your free quote so you can compare Bekins Van Lines with today’s top full-service movers and make your move budget-friendly and carefree.