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Originally Published: Jun 29, 2023
Originally Published: Jun 29, 2023 Last Updated: Dec 27, 2023 10 min read

A company that’s been around since 1928 – and also the industry’s largest – must be doing something right. United Van Lines can perform just about any move while offering industry-leading damage protection in case anything goes wrong. There may be no better mover if peace of mind is your top priority.

Service Area: 46 states, 150 countries

Can Pack For You: Yes

Deposit: None

Licensing: Carrier/Broker (USDOT 77949)

Does well:

  • Offers full replacement value property protection and other superior coverage options
  • Operates in more than 150 countries
  • Moving managers coordinate your customized plan
  • Full-service packing with optional custom crating for valuables
  • Maintains a video library of tutorials for DIY packers
  • Has 3,700 employees and 4,600 trucks of its own, reducing the need for third-party contractors
  • One of the most experienced military movers

Could improve:

  • Shares customer information with other movers within its family of companies, resulting in too many calls
  • Does not offer services to or from Hawaii, Rhode Island, West Virginia, or Vermont.
  • Superior property protection can come at a high cost
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What We Think About United Van Lines

What’s one thing that everyone worries about when they move? Broken items.

That’s why we like United Van Lines (UVL). It offers better property protection than just about any mover.

No matter which mover you use – or do it yourself – there’s a chance something won’t make it to the new destination in the same condition as it left. To help, UVL offers Full Value Protection, which covers your belongings at $6 per pound, or $30,000 for a 5,000-pound shipment. Some movers value your items at just 10 cents per pound!

But it goes one step further: you can declare valuables using a High Value Inventory Form. For instance, you can list a $1,000 diamond ring as part of your shipment. If it’s lost or damaged, you are reimbursed the declared amount despite its weight or age.

The extra protection doesn’t indicate that the company will surely break your things, though.

We also liked its full-service packing options, which include custom crating. Have an heirloom grandfather clock or antique set of dishes? Packing these yourself would be nerve-wracking, to say the least. With custom crating, the professionals pack for you using tried and true packing methods and materials.

No soiled grocery store cardboard boxes and old newspaper “protecting” grandma’s china. UVL will come prepared to safeguard your most prized possessions.


Still, no company is perfect. UVL has a reputation of being a little more spendy than the average mover. But with the kind of protection they offer, this isn’t surprising.

What’s a little more concerning are some of the bad reports left on various review sites. A caveat: any company this large will have negative reviews. Let’s face it, people are more motivated to leave bad reviews than good ones. Still, some customers complained of third-party companies handling part of the move, acting unprofessionally, and breaking items.

While this isn’t the typical experience, it is worth noting. UVL is licensed as both a carrier and a broker, meaning it can use its own staff and equipment for the move, or contract out to other companies. Most issues seem to revolve around its use of third parties.

If working with an unknown company is a concern for you, ask your UVL rep whether it will act as a carrier or a broker for your move.

United Van Lines Pros and Cons

  • Superior property protection
  • Custom crating available
  • Online tracking
  • Can conduct small moves
  • Experienced military mover
  • Largest mover in the industry and one of the oldest
  • Mixed customer ratings
  • Higher-than-average pricing
  • Uses third parties for some moves
  • Not available in HI, RI, WV, VT
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United Van Lines Services

Local Moving

While it sounds easier than moving cross country, local moves can be just as complex. Whether you’re moving 300 miles away within state lines or just down the street, UVL is experienced in coordinating and executing shorter-distance moves.

Long Distance Moving

Moving from Miami to Seattle? How about San Francisco to Austin? UVL offers moves across state lines, which requires special licensing that not all companies maintain.

Small Moves

You might think that your small move won’t be as valued as a large, long-distance move. UVL offers the same customer service for every move. So whether you’re currently in a one-bedroom apartment, dorm room, or have a small office or shop to move, UVL will provide the same attention to detail as someone moving a large residence. It calls its small move service its Snapmoves program.

Military Moves

UVL has moved over 260,000 members of the military in the last 10 years. It knows that your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) needs to be conducted with precision.

Additional Services

  • Vehicle shipping: UVL owns the industry’s largest company-operated vehicle transport fleet. It can move your car from door to door securely.
  • Storage: Timing is not always predictable when moving. That’s why UVL will store your items near your current or future residence based on move-out or move-in timeframes.
  • Real estate sales commission rebates: Use CityPointe® Real Estate Services and UVL, and you could receive cash back on your home sale or purchase.

How Much Does United Van Lines Cost?

United Van Lines costs between $6,000 to self-pack and $12,000 for full-service packing on a 1,000-mile, 3-bedroom house move during the summer with about one month’s notice, according to our research.

Your cost could vary greatly from the above depending on:

  • Moving day of the week and season
  • Distance
  • Weight
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Packing options
  • Additional services
  • Added property protection

Getting a Quote: UVL does not offer online ballpark quotes. Instead, you input your information in an online form and receive a call from a company rep. Be prepared to discuss your moving scenario. It’s a good idea to prepare an answer for each factor that could influence your cost before the call.

United 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

United Van Lines FAQ

Is United Van Lines a reputable company?

Yes, United Van Lines is reputable, being licensed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and having an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It was founded in 1928 and is the industry’s largest mover by market share.

Is United Van Lines licensed?

United Van Lines is licensed with the FMCSA as a carrier (using its own trucks and staff) and a broker (contracting with third parties) under USDOT 77949. It is licensed to perform interstate and in-state moves.

What is United Van Lines’ relationship with UniGroup?

UniGroup is a holding company that owns United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit, another moving company.

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Should You Use United Van Lines For Your Move?

Moving can feel highly intrusive. Other people moving your family belongings can make you feel uncomfortable at best.

That’s why it’s good to know that United Van Lines is the nation’s top mover by market share and volume. They’ve done this before, and they’ve been around since 1928. No mover is perfect, but UVL is a fantastic option for those wanting a streamlined move that comes with some of the industry’s best property protection.

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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.