Home > Mover Reviews > National Van Lines Review

National Van Lines Review

National Van Lines is an FMCSA-Authorized Carrier and Broker

    -

    Our Overall Rating80%
    Top Services
    • Local Moving
    • Long-Distance Moving
    • Specialized Moving
    • International Moving
    Updated for August 18, 2021
    • Established Date 1929
    • Is Active Active
    • USDOT Licence# 76628

    Since its founding in 1929, National Van Lines has brought some of the best services in the moving industry to the greater Chicago area, the US, and now, the world. From its headquarters in Broadview, Illinois, this moving company manages a large network of local agents and regional affiliates. Their stated goal is to create a stress-free moving experience for you, the client.

    Best for Storage Services

    SpareFoot

    4.6
    • 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

    4.8
    • 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

    4.7
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving
    • Storage Options Available
    • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

    Best for Storage Services

    4.6
    • Provides self-storage services
    • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
    • Reserve storage space online

    Best Full-Service Mover

    4.8
    • 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

    4.7
    • Local & Long-Distance Moving
    • Storage Options Available
    • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

    Best for Military Moves

    4.6
    • 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

    4.5
    • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
    • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
    • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

    In order to help you decide whether or NVL is the right fit for your move, we have done in-depth research on the company and its practices, comparing them to other similar industry leaders. In this article, you will learn about National Van Lines:

    • Transparency: Clarity of pricing is one of NVL’s hallmarks. From initial contact, through the estimate process, and until clients are settled in their new homes, National Van Lines is very involved. They encourage constant contact through the duration of the move. Going off of customer reviews, this company’s office staff and movers are adept at being up-front and communicative at all points.
    • Pricing: Price-wise, National Van Lines is only slightly above the national average. This looks to be a fact across the board, for all services performed. However, their customer reviews and track record make the small price bump more than worth it.
    • Moving services offered: National Van Lines offers a standard array of moving services with their basic move packages. Beyond that, their extra specialty services are also a notable feature in this company’s reputation within the moving industry.
    • Reputation among past clients: Across multiple platforms – even the often-negative review site, Yelp – the prevailing sentiment is that NVL is committed to customer service. From the office staff, down to the drivers and moving helpers on their jobs, this company is committed to making a client’s transition into a new home as smooth as possible.

    National Van Lines' Rating Breakdown

    Transparency
    Cost of Moving
    Services
    Reputation
    0 20 40 60 80 100

    Can National Van Lines Move Me?

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

    Transparency

    Transparency begins with a prospective client’s initial call or email to schedule an estimate. Thanks to ReloQuote, and an incredibly responsive team on the administrative side of things, ease of access to National Van Lines’ services is a key element of their business model. Move coordinators and estimators are trained to be prompt and forthright with their analyses of moves and their processes with clients.

    Once booked, move coordinators are simply an email or phone call away at any point during a move. They will work with clients to arrive at a price that is agreeable to both parties. In an industry with a lot of shady operators, this is refreshing to see. From local, to cross-country moves, customers always seem to be satisfied with the clarity of pricing.

    National Van Lines Transparency

    National Van Lines
    Industry Average
    0 20 40 60 80 100

    Pricing

    The overall cost for National Van Lines’ services is slightly above the industry average across the board. If customer reviews are a solid enough indicator, it would seem that clients are more than willing to pay the minimally higher price for the quality of service that NVL offers.

    When calculating long-distance move costs, hourly pay rates are not used to determine the final figure. Instead, a combination of shipping weight and move distance are the primary factors. When you are completing your estimate in-person, or virtually via ReloQuote, you will be given a ballpark figure. This number is typically reliable enough if no inventory is added between then and moving day. Your belongings will be loaded onto a truck, which has been weighed before pickup. After the second weigh-in at a US Department of Transportation weigh station, you will be given the final total for what your move will cost.

    Customer reviews are telling when it comes to price. For a long-distance move from Michigan to California (a little over 2,000 miles), the cost was around the $4,500 range. This was with minimal packing, for a lightly furnished two-bedroom home. Industry averages for this kind of move begin at $3,800 and can be as high as $7,000. The very high-end cost only comes into play if clients need to add multiple optional services to their move. Having your professional movers handle full-service packing, unpacking, custom crating, and decluttering will definitely make your move easier. However, the added costs should be kept in mind.

    National Van Lines’ leading service may be long-distance moving, but they do also take on their share of local moves. Given National Van Lines’ presence across the country, their local agents’ hourly rates could vary a great deal. Rates fluctuate with the seasons and change from region to region. Most prices for two movers and a truck fall somewhere between $90 and $120 per hour. If your local move is in the New York or Los Angeles area, your price will be in the higher end of that range. Costs will be lower in less population-dense areas. Small or medium local moves routinely cost $1,000 or less.

    National Van Lines Cost-Value vs. Competitors

    National Van Lines
    Industry Average
    0 20 40 60 80 100

    Moving Services Offered

    Local Moves

    For your local or intrastate moving needs, National Van Lines has you covered. NAVL’s specialty is definitely long-distance relocations, but their local agents in 33 states will happily provide a customized full-service moving experience for you.

    Long-Distance Moves

    National Van Lines is fully licensed to carry out both cross-country and interstate moves. As a company in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, its reputation is solid when compared to other interstate movers. For all long-distance moves, you will have a customized moving plan drafted, which covers all possible bases during your relocation.

    International Moves

    Changing residences is difficult in the best of times. Changing countries can be exponentially more so. NVL’s International division is geared towards making sure that clients only have to deal with one company during international moves. This process begins with NVL providing a dedicated move coordinator, who walks clients through every step of their relocation.

    Prospective clients are advised on costs at every point in their move, from point “A” to point “B.” This door-to-door service is a hit with clients, who credit it with making their moves less stressful all-around. All clients are provided with 24/7 shipment tracking, over land, sea, and air. You will never be totally out of touch with your things if you book National Van Lines for your international move.

    Special Item Moving

    NVL offers custom crating and specialized moving for unusual items, aside from their usual moving services. This is ideal for moving antiques or valuable art pieces. If you’re moving cross-country or overseas, it may actually be necessary to purchase these services. They provide similar services for all sizes of televisions and glass or fragile items.

    As a bonus, National Van Lines also moves pianos and pool tables. The latter of the two usually requires a specialized mover to transport. The weight and fragility of the slate slabs in the tabletop make them a rather troublesome item to move.

    Commercial Moving

    National Van Lines employs the latest in corporate relocation tech in order to make your business’s transition to a new office or city as smooth as possible. Their vetted employees help to provide fully customized commercial packages that are specific to the client’s industry. This, along with expedited moving services, ensure minimal interruptions in your day-to-day operations.

    Full-Service Packing and Unpacking

    NVL and its local agents offer a variety of packing options. Depending on the agent or moving company you’re dealing with, you will also be able to purchase packing supplies. This gives you a choice between packing on your own or hiring movers to do it for you. Many of NVL’s local agents offer fragile-only packing as an option. You won’t have to take an “all or nothing” approach to hiring help for this part of your move.

    Auto Transport

    If you’d rather not put the miles on your personal vehicle when moving cross-country, NVL has specialized auto transport options that can be tailored to meet your needs. For international moves, this service is often a necessity.

    National Van Lines Services Ratings

    National Van Lines
    Industry Average
    0 20 40 60 80 100

    Reputation Among Customers

    National Van Lines maintains an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau. Their overall customer rating on that site, across nearly 100 reviews, is 4.37/5. Clients are most complimentary of NVL’s communication and professionalism at all points in the moving process. Most commonly cited are the excellent office staff and move estimators. Regional and national level account staff are very experienced in handling all sizes of moves, and it shows in their handling of every possible situation.

    BBB reviews are similarly positive about the actual moving staff. With the number of locations across the country, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain any kind of consistency with employee training. This is especially true when National Van Lines works through local agents, many of whom are locally owned and operated.

    Another positive about NVL is that they seem relatively easy to book last minute. If you aren’t lucky enough to have the preferred 8 week lead time before a move, it may not matter when it comes to National Van Lines. The ease of working with their office staff is definitely an asset here. Many clients praise the speed of their booking process, which can be completed within days of initial contact, if not sooner.

    Another positive is the depth of NVL’s website, nationalvanlines.com. Their moving guide section is full of helpful checklists and process write-ups which are geared towards helping clients along the way, even if they decide to book with another carrier. Also featured are seasonal moving guides and a moving scam avoidance article. It is very obvious that this section was created with clients in mind, not just to drive traffic through their site.

    If there is a negative to be found with National Van Lines’ reputation, it may be in the haste that some of their movers pack goods and load trucks. The most common complaint centers around broken furniture or goods. This comes down to shoddy or rushed packing practices and shifting of the load during transit. The latter of these issues can and should be avoided. Proper truck packing is something all experienced professional movers have an intimate knowledge of.

    Another drawback for this carrier is its somewhat low count for local agents in the United States. Many states, namely in the southeast, do not have a single NVL local agent. You may be better served booking with another large carrier if you’re from this geographical area.

    National Van Lines Reputation

    National Van Lines
    Industry Average
    0 20 40 60 80 100

    National Van Lines FAQs

    Will an inventory list be kept by my moving crew chief?

    Yes. Especially on long-distance moves, this inventory list – or bill of lading – is a mandatory aspect of all move packages. Your moving crew chief will document every piece of furniture and box that goes onto the truck. If you’ve hired movers to pack up your house beforehand, they should have labeled each box with its contents. Likewise, if you have packed your entire home yourself, you should label every box. This will make it easier for your crew chief to record an accurate inventory list and will decrease your chances of losing any household goods in transit.

    Are there any items that National Van Lines can't (or won't) load onto their trucks?

    Movers across the board have a very definitive list of things they will not take with them on a move. In short, your movers will not move any flammable or toxic items. Doing so would require an additional hazmat license from the US DOT. Were anything to happen to your goods as a result of illegal items being packed in with them, there could be legal consequences for your movers. Similarly, they could be in line to receive hefty fines if pulled over with those materials in their trucks.

    Before moving day, you should go through an extensive decluttering process, and rid yourself of these items. Gasoline, oil, cleaning products, fertilizers, plants, and perishable foods have no place in a moving truck, for any reason.

    Has NVL made any innovations to make booking moves easier for the clients?

    With the onset of Covid-19, many companies across all industries have made the jump to virtual work. Unfortunately, that just isn’t an option for all fields. Construction, landscaping, moving, etc. However, the introduction of NVL’s ReloQuote application has gone an unbelievably long way to streamlining the moving process. Especially with the onset of the pandemic, this feature has proved to be invaluable in expediting moving quotes.

    Simply take a video of your entire home on your smartphone, and the app will compile an inventory list and put you in contact with a representative for a free quote. The most accurate method for getting a move estimate is, and always will be, in-person, with a representative, but this is as good an alternative as you can find in the moving industry.

    Does NVL contract any of its services out?

    National Van Lines is not only one of the largest moving carriers in the business. It is also one of the largest moving brokers. With a network of local agents throughout the United States, as well as partners overseas, NVL is guaranteed to be at least indirectly able to handle your move.

    Which items should I take with me in my personal vehicle?

    Aside from any items on the ban list, you should round up any essential or irreplaceable documents. These should be kept in a folder or small lockbox at all times. Social security cards, birth certificates, credit cards, or bank information all fall into this category.

    If you’re moving cross-country, you should plan your entire packing process around the fact that you will be on the road for a few days. This means preparing small first aid and emergency kits for your car, as well as packing enough clothing and toiletries to last you the length of your trip.  Any small family heirlooms should be transported in your personal vehicle as well.

    Get a Free National Van Lines Quote

    National 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 National Van Lines with today’s top full-service movers and make your move budget-friendly and carefree.