North American Van Lines Alternatives: Which Is Better?

North American Van Lines and National Van Lines are frequently confused in the moving world, but while North American Van Lines is on our list of best moving companies, National Van Lines is not. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider using either company for your next move.

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While the basic moving services offered by these two moving companies are similar, the add-on services differ widely. Customers who are looking for full-service moving services or any specialty services during their move should probably choose North American Van Lines, which offers some of the best options in the moving industry for customizable moves.

Keep reading to learn all about the difference between North American Van Lines and National Van Lines, so you can decide which company is better to book for your next move.

North American Van Lines vs. National Van Lines: Pros and cons

North American Van Lines (NAVL) and National Van Lines are both professional movers that specialize in full-service moves. But you will find that the services they offer, as well as the upsides and downsides of working with them, differ depending on the company you choose to work with.

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North American Van Lines: Pros and cons

  • Merged with Allied Van Lines in 1999 to create a massive network serving all 50 U.S. states
  • Moves are 100% customizable, so you only pay for the services you need
  • Offers both short- and long-term storage solutions
  • Provides shipment tracking, so you can monitor your items virtually while they are en route to your new home
  • Storage options vary based local availability in your location
  • To receive a binding quote, you’ll need to schedule an in-home walk-through

National Van Lines: Pros and cons

  • Can accommodate last-minute moves
  • You can receive a remote quote via FaceTime, so a representative doesn’t have to come to their home
  • Offer temporary storage solutions to customers during their move
  • Is involved in charitable causes, regularly donating to projects like the Special Olympics
  • Does not offer any long-term storage options
  • Does not have local agents in all states (not in AK, CT, LA, MI, or SC)

North American Van Lines vs. National Van Lines: Comparing services

One of the aspects that set North American Van Lines and National Van Lines apart is the add-on services they offer to both long-distance and local movers. Check out the chart below to see which services are offered by which mover.

Services North American Van Lines National Van Lines
Local moves (less than 50 miles) Yes Yes
Cross-country moves Yes Yes
International moves Yes Yes (limited countries)
Corporate moves Yes (moving containers are also available for those who want to DIY pack) Yes
Military moves Yes, a military discount is available Yes
Packing and unpacking Yes (also offers furniture assembly and appliance installation) Yes
Fragile item handling Yes (offers specialty crating for fragile items) Yes (specialize more in large fragile items like pianos and pool tables rather than antiques)
Packing supplies Yes Yes
Storage Yes (short-term and long-term) Yes (short-term only)
Vehicle transport Yes Yes
Last-minute moves No Yes
Virtual binding moving quotes No (to receive a binding quote, you will need to have a customer service representative come to your home) Yes (facilitated via FaceTime)
Guaranteed quotes Yes (offers a not-to-exceed estimate) No
Insurance options Basic, full-value replacement, and extra value protection on high-end items Basic only

North American Van Lines services

As one of the best interstate moving companies with 90 years of experience in the industry, North American Van Lines offers several premium services to movers and can help with all types of moves.

NAVL’s services include:

  • Long-distance moves: Like National Van Lines, NAVL specializes in long-distance moves. They are known for their customized moves, allowing you to only pay for the services you want to use.
  • Local moves: Although they are more specialized in long-distance and cross-country moves, NAVL does offer local moving services to those moving just across town.
  • International moves: NAVL’s international moving services are one of the things that sets them apart from National. NAVL offers far more comprehensive and extensive international moving services than National Van Lines. NAVL’s international relocations come with a personal relocation specialist, who can assist with the move itself, as well as the various paperwork you’ll need to complete. And the company’s website has a variety of free helpful guides and checklists for international movers.
  • Military moves: NAVL has experience with all types of moves and can help make moves for service members as stress-free as possible. They even offer a discount for active military and veteran movers.
  • Corporate relocations: North American Van Lines offers a variety of corporate relocation services, and they are one of the few full-service companies in the moving industry that has moving containers for companies that want to do their own packing and loading.
  • Full-service packing: NAVL offers full-service packing services, which include packing, unpacking, appliance installation, and furniture disassembly. Their packing services are more extensive than those at National Van Lines, as they also offer custom crating options to protect fragile items during your move.
  • Premium storage services: NAVL offers both short-term and long-term storage solutions.
  • Packing materials: Customers can purchase packing supplies directly through NAVL, saving them the hassle of buying their own.
  • Premium insurance coverage: North American Van Lines is renowned for their full-value protection insurance and extensive coverage in case some of your household goods are damaged during your move.
  • Actual binding quotes: Unlike National Van Lines, the binding estimate you receive from NAVL is truly binding, so you will know the exact cost of your move in advance. North American Van Lines only offers in-person moving quotes, which can be a bit of a hassle, but it is more accurate than an online quote, and it ensures you have the correct valuation for your insurance policy.
  • Vehicle shipping: If you would rather ship your vehicle to your new home, North American Van Lines can help arrange auto transport with your move.
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At A Glance
  • Over 74 years in business
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National Van Lines services

National Van Lines is a well-established full-service moving company that offers multiple moving services designed to fit all moving needs:

  • Cross-country moves: National Van Lines is known for their long-distance moving services. Whether you need to move one state away or maybe coast to coast, they have you covered.
  • Local moves: In addition to being long-distance movers, like North American Van Lines, National Van Lines also offers moving services to local movers.
  • International moving services: National Van Lines provides international moving services. However, this is one of their newer service offerings, and they don’t serve as many countries as North American Van Lines.
  • Corporate moves: National Van Lines offers several corporate moving options, but their selection doesn’t have as much to offer when compared to the service options of North American Van Lines.
  • Government and military moves: As full-service movers, National Van Lines also services moves contracted by the DOD or US military. As of the writing of this article, though, they do not offer discounts for military moves as NAVL does.
  • Packing and unpacking: National has unpacking and packing services, but their options don’t go as far as those offered by NAVL. They do, however, offer specialty pool table and piano moving options for movers with these large items.
  • Limited storage options: When moving with National Van Lines, customers can only utilize short-term storage solutions.
  • Vehicle shipping: Whether you are shipping a boat or a vehicle, National Van Lines can help you get it to your destination.
  • Virtual quotes: Unlike with NAVL, customers of National Van Lines can receive a virtual free quote for moving their items. It’s important to note, though, that customers often report that this initial moving estimate is often different from the final amount they pay, so you’ll want to take this into account.

North American Van Lines vs. National Van Lines: A cost comparison

Whether you choose to book with National Van Lines or North American Van Lines, the price you pay for your upcoming move will vary widely on several factors. The cost of your move will ultimately depend on your moving date, the weight of your household goods, and the size of the truck required to move your items, as well as the number of miles you are moving and any add-on services your move requires.

That being said, North American Van Lines estimates that the average cost of a long-distance move with them is $3,500–$4,000, while National Van Lines estimates that the average long-distance move with their company costs anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

North American Van Lines has more pricing options than National Van Lines. Customers can choose to pay based on the weight of their items on moving day or pay for a guaranteed not-to-exceed quote. If you choose to pay based on weight, you won’t receive the final cost of their move until moving day when the moving truck will be weighed to generate your final cost. You will be charged a flat rate for each pound of stuff you are moving.

Movers choosing a guaranteed not-to-exceed quote will know in advance how much their move will cost, and they will not pay anything more unless the conditions of their move change.

National Van Lines only offers one pricing option for moves booked with them, and these quotes are based on a FaceTime walk-through of your home and an estimate of how much your items weigh. It’s important to note that this quote is an estimate, and you may end up paying more or less come moving day.

Below is a chart that breaks down some of the moving costs you can expect to pay when working with either of the aforementioned companies.

North American Van Lines National Van Lines
Price per mile Pricing based on weight:

  • 1,000 miles: $4,500 for a 2,000-pound shipment
  • 200 miles: $1,500 for a 2,000-pound shipment
  • $0.60 for longer distances
  • $0.75 for local moves
Cost per pound (on a full-service move) $0.50–$0.75 $0.50–$0.75
Cost of packing supplies (price per unit) Moving kits are provided based on the size of your home for a flat fee
  • Small boxes: $1.70
  • Medium boxes: $2.79
  • Large boxes: $3
  • Wardrobe boxes: $12
  • Reusable bins: $30
  • Packing paper: $10 per roll
  • Packing tape: $4 per roll
  • Plastic padding: $2 per 10ft
  • Permanent marker: $1.50
  • Moving blankets: $20
  • Furniture covers: $15
  • Stretch wrap: $20 per roll

Still unsure how much your move would cost? Take a look at our moving cost calculator to get a free quote for your move.

North American Van Lines vs. National Van Lines: Which should you use?

Overall, both North American Van Lines and National Van Lines are among our top picks for long-distance move providers in the United States. They are both highly rated on the BBB, and both offer several add-on services to make your next move stress-free.

That being said, we recommend NAVL if you’re moving internationally or want to customize your move to include some services but omit the ones you don’t need. Their international services and list of add-on services simply exceed those offered at National Van Lines. We also think that those making a military move should choose North American Van Lines because of their military discount on full-service moves.

If you are booking a last-minute move and simply don’t have time for the in-person walk-through required for North American Van Lines, then National Van Lines is the best choice for you, as working with NAVL doesn’t offer these features, and the quote process with them can be a bit more time-consuming.

Because each move is unique, here at moveBuddha, we recommend getting quotes from at least three different companies for your next upcoming move. This will allow you to make an informed decision and book the company which is right for you.

North American Van Lines alternatives

Not sure if either North American Van Lines or National Van Lines is a good fit? Be sure to check out some of our other top full-service and DIY movers to compare services and pricing:

FAQs about North American Van Lines alternatives

How much does North American Van Lines cost?

The price you will pay to move with North American Van Lines will vary depending on the parameters of your move. Those making small local moves will pay much less than those making large long-distance moves, as moving costs are based on the weight of your items, the distance of the move, and the additional services your move requires.

Is National Van Lines worth it?

National Van Lines is a highly rated full-service moving company, and most customers who choose to use their services are satisfied with the services delivered. Whether or not National Van Lines is the right choice for your move will depend on your location, where you plan to move, and on what day you want to move.

What are the differences in services offered by North American Van Lines compared to National Van Lines?

Both North American Van Lines and National Van Lines facilitate full-service long-distance moves. However, North American Van Lines offers more international services, as well as better discounts for those moving on military orders. National Van Lines, in comparison, offers more last-minute move options and offers virtual quotes, both of which are not services offered by NAVL.

What are the differences between North American Van Lines and National Van Lines in terms of services and pricing?

The cost of your move will vary widely depending on the parameters of your move. In general, both North American Van Lines and National Van Lines will cost more than $3000 for a long-distance move. However, North American Van Lines is known for their guaranteed quotes, while customers of National Van Lines frequently report the price of their move ends up being higher than their initial quote.

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