North American Van Lines Moving Review 2019

Whether you need loading and transportation only, or a full-on packing-and-unpacking moving company, North American Van Lines covers every need.
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Full-service local, long-distance, and international mover
Comprehensive insurance available
Can be pricey

Maybe you’re finally getting your dream job in Paris. Or maybe you’re upsizing your home to make room for the new baby, or you’re just moving across town to get a better view.

No matter where you’re moving, North American Van Lines can help you—and all of your stuff—get there.

North American, sometimes called North American Moving, ranks among the best full-service movers in the industry. It offers a wide variety of services and plenty of useful tools to make moving easier. So go ahead and grab an online quote for your move, then read on to hear all the good (and not so good) details.

What you should know about North American Van Lines

Hauling stuff around since the dinosaurs ruled the earth (okay, maybe not that long).

North American Van Lines (NAVL) got its start back in 1933, at the height of the Great Depression. The company didn’t just survive those tough times—it ended up growing into a large, full-service mover. The company now has 500 local agents across the United States.

These days, North American does residential moves all over the world. You’ve likely seen some of the company’s trucks (with the blue-and-white logo) driving down the highway or sitting in front of a neighbor’s home

What you get with North American Van Lines

A ton of services, whether you’re moving to Moscow, Kansas, or Moscow, Russia.

Think of your move like a salad bar. At the base, you’ve got your greens—which are like the moving truck. You’re going to get that with a NAVL move no matter what.

Then, you get to choose whatever you want on top, from croutons to soggy artichoke hearts (but seriously, who eats those?).

Here’s the list of “toppings” (er, services) that North American Van Lines offers for your move.

  • Full loading/unloading services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Appliance disconnection and reconnection
  • Crane vans for large items
  • Custom crating
  • Storage services
  • Auto transport
  • Real-time satellite tracking
  • Multiple insurance options

Here’s a closer look at which moving services come standard and what will cost extra with NAVL.

Complete North American Van Lines moving services
ServiceCost includedCosts extra
Loading/unloadingYesNo
Packing/unpackingNoYes
Fragile-only packingYesNo
Auto transportNoYes
Furniture assembly/disassemblyNoYes
Shuttle serviceNoYes
StorageNoYes
Basic liability coverageYesNo
Full valuation coverageNoYes
Shipment trackingYesNo
DetailsGet a QuoteGet a Quote

International moves

Moving always requires some readjustment—to a new neighborhood, a new home, and new schools. But when you’re moving internationally, there can be even more to get used to (like driving on the other side of the street!).

This is why North American Van Lines offers some specialty services for international moves. The company will help you get settled, offering everything from unpacking boxes to setting up language and driving lessons, so that you can focus on more important things (like enjoying your new home and new culture).

These extra services are one of the reasons North American is listed among the best international moving companies.

Insurance

Another way North American distinguishes itself in the industry is by going the extra mile to protect your stuff. The company’s movers use protective coverings when in your home, prepare a detailed inventory of everything they pack, and make sure to label every box.

But accidents do happen. Thankfully, NAVL has a couple of different coverage options to help you in case one of your boxes of books ends up soaking wet or your antique desk gets scratched.

North American Van Lines insurance options:

  • Released Value: This insurance comes standard on all NAVL moves, but it only offers minimal protection. Seriously minimal. We’re talking $0.60 per pound. That means if your ten-pound immersion blender is broken during the move you’ll be reimbursed all of $6.00. Yikes!
  • Full Maximum Value Protection: This is the Cadillac of moving coverage. It’ll cost extra, but if any of your things are lost, damaged, or destroyed in your move, they will be repaired, replaced, or compensated for in cash. Nice!

Shipment tracking

It’s 10 p.m.—do you know where your boxes of stuff are? If you’re moving with North American Van Lines, it’s pretty easy to find out. Just hop online and use the company’s shipment tracking system, which operates 24 hours a day.

North American Van Lines moving experience

Getting quotes, packing your boxes, putting your stuff in storage. You know, all the fun stuff!

If you jump into a household move without a plan, you’re likely to learn about Murphy’s Law the hard way. (You know, “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”?1) Just a little bit of research and preparation on the front end of your move can save you a big headache later.

Here’s a quick rundown of the main steps of moving with North American Van Lines so you know what to expect when planning your relocation.

Getting your quote

It used to be difficult to get even a basic quote from North American Van Lines. But it looks like the company’s been working on making things easier for potential customers, because it now there’s an instant quote tool.

This tool will give you a range of quotes for your move based on the size of your home, the origin and destination, and whether you have a small, medium, or large amount of stuff. Here’s the quote we got for a hypothetical move from Chicago to Dallas.

North American Van Lines sample quote information
Distance of move978 miles (Chicago to Dallas)
Date of moveMay 2019
Move size4-bedroom house
Estimate$10,103–12,772

Don’t read too much into these initial online quotes, since there’s a lot not being factored in. But it’s worth noting that the estimated cost here is higher than the quotes we got from companies like Atlas and International Van Lines.

Of course, the best way to get a full and accurate quote from North American (or any other moving company) is to do an in-home estimate. This also gives you and the mover time to go over everything—from how to pack your TV to your insurance options—in the comfort of your own home.

Prepping your home

We know, we know—if you wanted to do all of the work yourself, you would have rented a box truck. But even when you’re opting for a full-service mover like NAVL, you can save some money (and time) by doing the packing and prep work yourself.

When it comes to packing properly, a few tricks will go a long way. You can check out a packing guide written by our own reviewers, or look at the one that North American provides for its customers.

You’ll also want to make sure that anything that’s not going with you on your move is clearly marked. Otherwise you’ll end up paying to ship that torn-up old couch to your new house.

Moving

Here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for: moving day! Yes, you can finally take a rest as some buff movers do all of the heavy lifting for you.

Just make sure you’ve got the money on hand to settle the bill. Most movers, including NAVL, prefer cash.

Once your stuff is all packed away on the truck, you can keep track of the truck’s location using North American’s shipment tracking system.

Storing your stuff

When you’re between houses, it can be an ideal time to go on that European vacation you’ve always dreamed of—or that obligatory trip to visit your in-laws in St. George, Utah. No matter what it is that’s delaying your move-in day, you’re going to need some storage.

Thankfully, North American Van Lines can arrange that. The company has storage options in many locations throughout the United States.

Customer service

As honest Abe Lincoln (supposedly) said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time.”2 So it is in the moving industry.

Many people have had great experiences with North American Van Lines, but some . . . not so much. You can read their stories online. Just remember that, as with any online reviews, unhappy customers tend to be more vocal than happy ones.

Also remember that North American has many different agents, so you should only pay attention to feedback about your local agent. A mover with the North American agent in the next town over may have dropped a previous customer’s prized flower vase, but that doesn’t mean your local agent is to blame.

Recap: Is North American Van Lines a good mover?

North American can handle those long-distance moves better than most other movers, but some folks may want something simpler (and cheaper).

If you’re looking for a full-service mover that can tackle a large, long-distance move, then North American Van Lines is a great option. This company shines in key areas like service options, availability, and shipment tracking.

But if you’re moving locally or are on a budget, you may find North American to be a bit more than you need.

Services: North American offers all of the standard services, like loading and fragile-only packing. But why stop there? This company can also ship your car, store your stuff, do custom crating . . . the list goes on.

Quotes: It’s easier than ever before to get a quote from North American Van Lines. These instant quotes may not be as accurate as the company’s in-home estimates, but they can help you get a ballpark range when you’re shopping around.

Moving: Prep your home, pay your bill, and then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. It might be worth reading some customer reviews of your local NAVL agent so that you can know exactly what to expect.

Storage: North American can arrange storage for you (woohoo!), but it will cost extra (rats!).

We’re pretty impressed with NAVL. But you’re the real expert. Have you had an experience with North American Van Lines? Did they leave your home cleaner than they found it? Or did the movers scuff up the floor? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, “Murphy’s Law
  2. History News Network, “‘You Can Fool All the People’: Did Lincoln Say It?