National Van Lines Company Review

Overall Opinion
National Van Lines
moveBuddha Rating

  • They are a well-established national moving company with full-service moving capability.
  • The primary source of problems is household goods arriving damaged, particularly on state-to-state moving projects.
  • Overall, they are an above-average option for local, cross country moves, or international moves.
  • Compare National to the moving companies on our list of the best interstate moving companies and the best international movers.

How does National Van Lines compare to other professional movers?

Company Quote Rating Price
Safeway Moving
Best Overall Value
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4.5 overall rating
American Van Lines
American Van Lines
Best industry reputation
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4.5 overall rating
International Van Lines
International Van Lines
Best customer service
Get A Quote
4.45 overall rating

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About National Van Lines

Founded more than 90 years ago, the organization is headquartered on West Roosevelt Road in Broadview, Illinois. In an era when the majority of major national carriers have been acquired by large conglomerates, they remain a mid-sized company. They have a vast network of local agents across the U.S. in roughly 30 states.

  • It appears they have an excellent process of conducting remote estimates using FaceTime technology
  • The company is active in charitable causes including the Special Olympics and some environmental initiatives
  • They are a viable option for “last-minute” moves on short notice
  • Many reviews praised the national account sales staff
  • Some of the local moving staff will package and move items hastily without proper TLC, which sometimes results in damage
  • Many customers that decline to purchase additional protection coverage are unaware of the (meager) limits that apply to basic coverage
  • They don’t have a local agent in the states of Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
  • Some of the metro areas without a local agent include Buffalo and Rochester in New York, Memphis, and Pittsburgh.

National Van Lines offers a broad range of services

  • Local Moving: They have local agents that provide customized local moving services. All items loaded on the truck are added to a full inventory list. Customers are encouraged to ask about expedited services.
  • Long-Distance Moves: Interstate and cross-country moving services are available nationwide.
  • International Moves: They have secured licensure as a Federal Maritime Commission as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC). We are now also a certified Registered International Mover (RIM). Shipment tracking is available on all international moves, which are completed by air or sea. Those moving internationally are encouraged to select the Extended Protection Program to cover lost or damaged items.
  • Commercial Moving: They offer customized relocation services for businesses of all sizes using movers that are all background checked. The operations team has expertise in logistics and they have handled many special projects for medical facilities, the hospitality industry, and more.
  • Packing and Unpacking: National Van Lines offers professional packing and unpacking services as part of their full-service moving programs for both residential and commercial customers.
  • Specialty Services: They now offer services including piano and pool table moving, customized crating, and vehicle transport.
  • Storage: Agents can offer temporary in-transit storage services and warehouse storage options with climate-controlled unit availability.
  • Government and Military Moves: They have many years of experience in meeting General Service Administration standards and regularly handle military relocations for the Department of Defense (DOD)

How much does National Van Lines charge?

The website’s free quote platform doesn’t generate an instant or “ballpark” pricing estimate and requires speaking with a representative. The website does allow customers to make payments via credit card. Customer feedback suggests that many of the local agents are very competitively priced on state-to-state moves, although they don’t market themselves as a budget or value type of carrier.

The ReloQuote application was developed as a means of safely and accurately obtaining a quote while allowing for social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The customer uses their phone or other video-capable devices to create an inventory. (see details below)

Binding vs Nonbinding Estimates

National Van Lines typically requires that a company representative conduct an onsite survey before providing a fully binding estimate. This is necessary to determine key aspects of the move that may require additional resources. For example, local laws may prohibit large trucks from passing through certain areas; therefore, it may be necessary for the movers to use a smaller shuttle and make multiple trips.

Insurance Protection

Basic Carrier Liability is the required minimum coverage that pays 60 cents per pound per article for loss or damage that is provided at no additional cost. For example, a 150-pound piece of furniture that is damaged is only eligible for a maximum of $90 in compensation if it were lost or damaged–meaning, your flatscreen TV would be a goner if it were damaged.

Full Replacement Value is available for purchase and equates to repair or replacement cost at market prices. Costs can be lowered if a deductible amount is chosen and offerings will vary among the different local agents.

What is National Van Lines Customer Service Like?

Although not an unusual problem in the moving industry, feedback indicates that National Van Lines has had many customer complaints stemming from items being damaged. In many cases, the quality of the packing material used was insufficient to protect delicate items from being broken.

Does National Van Lines have a good online reputation?

The headquarters location in Broadview, Illinois has more than 100 reviews on Google with an overall rating of 3.6 out of 5. Several people spoke positively about the customer service representatives on the 800# as being professional and polite. A few customers stated that items were handled recklessly during the move and had belongings damaged.

One of their local agents, Midwest Moving & Storage, which operates in the Chicago area had more than 240 reviews on Google with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. Many of the complaints involved lengthy delays in deliveries to destinations on state-to-state moving projects. Some customers stated that the packers seemed disorganized and lacked some of the basic supplies.

One pattern that is evident in their reviews is that customer satisfaction tends to decline as the moving process progresses, particularly on interstate moves. For example, the initial estimate goes well and items are loaded efficiently at the origin location—then there are problems with responsiveness or delays in reaching the destination, etc.

On Yelp, National Van Lines has an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 based on 140+ reviews. One customer explained that the cost to guarantee the arrival date at the destination was $775 (pretty costly). Lots of pictures are posted of items that were damaged during the move. One customer expressed satisfaction with the “contactless” estimate process that used FaceTime.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has National Van Lines as rated A+. They have received two complaints over the past year and 14 over the prior three years. Several of the complaints involved the claims process. Customers mentioned lapses in communication and that the compensation (coverage) was insufficient for the value of the items.

The following is a summary of the categories (nature) of the complaints received.

BBB Complaint Types Number
Sales or Advertising 0
Collections or Billing 3
Deliver-Related Concerns 4
Warranty or Guarantee 2
Product or Service Problems 5

Is National Van Lines licensed and insured?

Licensing, registration and insurance information goes here

Database Listed (Y/N)
Licensing Insurance FMCSA? Yes
Better Business Bureau (BBB) Listed (Not Accredited)

For more information on how moving company regulations, and why we choose to look at these databases, check out our post on how moving companies are regulated. 

Should You Consider National Van Lines for a Move?

They are a sound organization with an impressive network of U.S. agents. The primary concern is that the quality of the movers is inconsistent among the local agents and too many items are broken. They are a viable option for full-service moving; however, purchasing upgraded insurance (coverage) plan is strongly recommended.

Want to learn more about National Van Lines? Visit their website to find their contact information where you can reach them directly.

For more help choosing the right moving company and to get a free moving quote, check our picks of the top-rated interstate moving companies.

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