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Originally Published: Jun 29, 2023
Originally Published: Jun 29, 2023 Last Updated: Sep 18, 2023 10 min read

American Van Lines is the best in the business when it comes to moving valuable, delicate, and one-of-a-kind items. But it also takes great care when performing more typical moves. Its attention to detail indicates that it can offer all customers a great experience.

Service Area: 48 states

Can Pack For You: Yes

Deposit: 10-50%

Licensing: Carrier (USDOT 614506)

Does well:

  • Moving antiques, fine art, heirlooms, and other specialty items
  • Disassembly and reassembly of pianos
  • Military moves
  • Offers a range of services for more typical moves, from partial DIY to full service to fit different budgets

Could improve:

  • Large deposit required
  • Needs to coach customers on how to get an accurate quote
  • Better management of third-party contractors

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What We Think About American Van Lines

American Van Lines (AVL) opened for business in 1995 and has been moving Americans around the country ever since.

It takes that role seriously, hiring movers with an average of 10 years in the industry, according to the company website. But that’s just one way the company focuses on quality. It also specializes in high-value and luxury moves.

For example, it has trained crews that can disassemble and reassemble large pianos, move full art collections, and pack family heirlooms.

But even if you’re moving everyday items, your things still feel special to your family because they are yours. That’s why AVL takes similar care when performing more typical moves.

This care shows up in its A rating from the BBB and its 3.44 out of 5 stars on the site, which is stronger than most moving companies can claim. One recent review from BBB user “CJR” said, “Our 86-year-old mother was moving out of state, and he and his crew took amazing care of everything... from packing to loading to the unload. They knew more about handling our grandfather clock than we did!”

Downsides

Still, every moving company has complaints if they do any amount of business. So what are common issues for American Van Lines? Most revolve around the company using third parties to complete all or part of the move. This is a common practice in the industry because no single company can perform moves from and to every neighborhood in the U.S. by itself. AVL could do a better job vetting its third-party contractors.

Other customers filed complaints about price increases, even after receiving a binding estimate. One customer reported a price increase from $5,800 to $13,000. While this is a shocking increase, the company responded to the complaint, stating that the actual number of items was three times the amount originally disclosed.

When you get a bid from AVL or any company, ensure that you do a visual home walk-through and account for all items you need moved.

American Van Lines Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Specialized teams for antiques, pianos, and valuables
  • Expert military movers
  • Provides optional storage
  • Offers local and long-distance moves
  • Online shipment tracking
  • No extra charges for last-minute booking
  • Binding estimate available
Cons
  • May require a large deposit
  • Not available in AK or HI
  • Customers complain of higher prices than quoted
  • Relies on third-party contractors for some moves

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American Van Lines Services

Even though American Van Lines can move valuables with ease, it can also perform just about any type of move.

Local Moving

Local moving may sound easy, but it can be just as complex as going across state lines. AVL is an experienced local mover and can even charge by the hour for a more transparent price.

Long-distance Moving

AVL can handle almost any long-distance move, whether you’re moving a studio apartment or a 4-bedroom house.

High-value moves

From antique pianos to wine collections to fine art, AVL trains special crews to move high-value items that simply can’t be damaged. According to the company, its staff knows how to properly handle and even disassemble and reassemble large, valuable items like pianos. It can store delicate and expensive items in special storage facilities.

Military Moves

AVL includes a suite of services for military moves, including free in-home estimates, full-service packing, storage, furniture disassembly/reassembly and more. It offers fast service since military members are often under strict deadlines when receiving Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.

Additional Services

  • Packing and unpacking: AVL can provide white-glove service, packing up items, disassembling furniture, transporting, and putting everything in place in your new home.
  • Storage: If move-out/move-in timing doesn’t exactly align, you can store your items in American Van Lines’ climate-controlled facilities.
  • Employee relocation: AVL moving coordinators are trained to set up your employee’s relocation with one call, making the process hassle-free in a time that can be stressful for your employees and their families.

How Much Does American Van Lines Cost?

The American Van Lines website is more helpful than most when it comes to estimating your move. It gives a variety of scenarios and the cost for each. Below are a few examples of estimated prices displayed on its site.

Distance One bedroom est. cost Three bedroom est. cost
700 miles $2,880 $5,870
1,300 miles $3,643 $7,739
2,700 miles $5,227 $11,327

Note that the above prices are just estimates, and your price will vary based on exact distance, weight, special items, storage, and other services required.

Getting a Quote: The company will require a virtual walk-through of your home to provide a quote. While this may seem inconvenient, it is better than trying to offer an online quote, which can lead to delays and increased prices on moving day.

You can get a binding estimate, but keep in mind that the estimate is only as good as your inventory list. Make sure to let the company know about every last item you’d like to move.

American Van Lines Vs. Other Moving Companies

Company Money Rating BBB Rating Can Pack For You Deposit State Availability
United Van Lines Best Full Value Protection A+ Yes None 46 states
JK Moving Services Best Full-Service Packing A+ Yes $250 50 states
North American Van Lines Most Predictable Pricing A+ Yes Up to 50% 50 states
International Van Lines Most Flexible Mover B Yes 25% 50 states
U-Pack Best DIY Mover A+ No None 50 states
American Van Lines Best for High-Value Moves A Yes 10-50% 48 states
Moving APT Best Moving Broker B Yes Required, amount varies 50 states
Mayflower Transit Best Technology A+ Yes None 50 states

American Van Lines FAQ

Is American Van Lines legit?

American Van Lines is a reputable company that has been in business since 1995. It is licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a carrier, meaning it performs moves using its own vehicles and staff. In some cases, the company might work with partner movers to complete your move.

How much does American Van Lines cost?

Quotes can range from $2,880 for a 700-mile, one-bedroom move to $11,327 for a 2,700-mile three-bedroom move. Costs vary based on distance, weight, and services needed for your move. This is about in line with the cost of other moving companies.

Is American Van Lines the same as North American Van Lines?

No, these are separate companies. You can learn more out more about North American Van Lines here.

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Should You Use American Van Lines For Your Move?

American Van Lines is a reputable moving company that focuses on quality. Whether you have typical household items or specialty, high-value items, or are moving local or long distance, AVL offers a great moving experience.

Learn More

Research Other Moving Companies

Our Methodology

At Money.com, we prioritize providing our readers with thorough, trustworthy reviews.

In order to give you the best recommendations for moving companies, we’ve reviewed more than a dozen companies using these metrics:

  • Services: We analyze each moving company based on the types of services and features they offer, comparing them to other providers in the industry.
  • Availability: We also factor in each company’s state availability, highlighting the areas in which they’re licensed to serve.
  • Pricing: In our analysis, we also zero in on pricing and compare quotes across multiple moving companies. That includes evaluating how transparent a company is about its cost structure, additional fees, and cancellation policy.
  • Reputation: We pay close attention to each moving company’s brand reputation by reading third-party reviews and checking for proper licensing and accreditation through the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database.
  • Customer experience: We reviewed dozens of negative reviews from real customers for each moving company. We incorporated comments into our ratings and addressed common themes in each review.