American Van Lines Review | 2024

By Tamara Jude Updated March 6, 2024

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Founded in 1967 in Pompano Beach, Florida, American Van Lines, Inc. (AVL) is an experienced professional moving company that prides itself on providing expert service from well-trained staff for long-distance and international moves. But is it the right company to handle your upcoming move?

We researched dozens of movers, reviewed their policies, and analyzed hundreds of customer reviews to develop our recommendations for the best moving companies. Below, we provide you with a more in-depth look at one of those top providers, American Van Lines.


Overview of American Van Lines

Founded: 1967
State Availability: 48*
Standout Service: Special items handling
Deposit Required: 10%-50% of total cost

*All but Alaska and Hawaii

Pros & Cons of American Van Lines 

Here are a few of our top pros and cons for this moving company:

Pros

  • Requires moving crew members to be trained and certified in handling fine art, antiques, and pianos
  • Offers climate-controlled personal storage vaults protected by 24-hour surveillance cameras
  • Provides a guaranteed delivery date and time frame for an additional cost

Cons

  • Does not provide instant quotes online
  • Only accommodates local moves in Dallas-Fort Worth, North Carolina, and South Florida

American Van Lines Services

American Van Lines is a full-service moving company that can pack, load, unload, and unpack your belongings anywhere in the contiguous United States. However, it’s important to note that AVL is only equipped to service local moves in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, South Florida, and North Carolina.

While many companies outsource moving jobs to third-party agents depending on location, AVL can accommodate all long-distance moves using its own full-time staff and moving trucks. This means you can communicate directly with the company handling your moving experience from start to finish.

American Van Lines conducts thorough background checks on potential employees and requires all moving staff to undergo annual training and certifications. For this reason, AVL may be an attractive option for those with high-value or rare items, such as antique furniture and home decor. Ongoing crew training includes sessions on handling pianos, original artwork, and fitness equipment.

Some of the company’s services are highlighted in more detail below.

Full-Service Moves

Full-service moves with AVL include packing and unpacking and loading and unloading. Moving crew members will wrap each item it packs up for you. AVL can also disassemble and reassemble your furniture and build customized crates for large or oddly shaped fragile items and electronics.

Partial Packing

AVL can accommodate customers who plan to handle most of the packing themselves but would like assistance with specific tasks, such as fragile-packing services and disassembling large pieces of furniture.

Antiques and Piano Moving

AVL has two separate moving crew divisions, each designed to handle antiques and pianos properly. Piano movers are certified in and receive ongoing training for the proper method of dismantling all piano models, from electric and upright to baby grand and grand. Crews can disassemble pianos for transport, then put them back together at your new home.

Storage Services

Moving and storage often go hand-in-hand. If you downsize, sell your current home before your new one is move-in ready, or simply want to update your interior design, you may want to stow some of your furniture and household items.

AVL operates climate-controlled private storage facilities. Climate-controlled storage units mean you can safely house items like upholstered furniture, photographs, and books without fear of damage over time. For added security, customers can opt for personal vaults, which are lined wooden crates that house items that have been professionally wrapped and padded.

AVL’s private storage units are all housed in fire- and stormproof buildings that are monitored 24/7 with surveillance cameras. If you have expensive or rare items like antiques, fine jewelry, or original paintings, you can go with AVL’s high-value storage units that are well-lit and equipped with alarms.

The company will drop designated items off at one of its storage sites en route to your new location. AVL will pick up your stored items and drop them off on your preferred delivery date at your new home.

Contents Protection

Under federal law, all moving companies must provide basic coverage of your belongings through a released-value protection plan. AVL offers released-value protection at no additional cost. The protection plan means AVL will reimburse you at 60 cents per pound for items broken, damaged, stolen, or lost during the moving process.

Since released value protection is based on weight, we recommend purchasing additional coverage through AVL to ensure you are covered more thoroughly for high-value items. AVL’s Full Value Protection Plan covers your items at their actual value, up to $100 per pound. This means that a 200-pound antique armoire valued at $6,000 would be fully covered with Full Value Protection, which would cap out at $20,000 ($100 x 200 pounds) for the piece. Under released-value protection, the same armoire would only be covered for $120 ($.60 x 200 pounds).

The company’s Extraordinary Value Plan aims to protect high-end pieces that are not covered under the Full Value option, which caps reimbursements for items valued at more than $100 per pound. Extraordinary Value is a good choice for items like jewelry that, while weighing less than a pound, are worth far more than $100.

Relocation Types

Corporate Relocations

AVL assists companies that want to offer professional moving services to staff members and their families when relocating all or some of their staff. An AVL moving coordinator will coordinate every step of the relocation process during one phone call to your employees. The specialist will ask a few key questions to determine employees’ individual needs during the call. After planning the process, AVL crews will pack, load, transport, unload, and unpack your employees’ belongings to provide them with a stress-free transition.

Military Relocations

American Van Lines can also help plan moves for military personnel relocating in a tight time frame.

AVL’s military relocation services include the following:

  • Free quotes following a home assessment
  • Full-service packing
  • Packing materials
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Valuation coverage for household items that are broken, lost, damaged, or stolen in transit
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Short- and long-term storage

Moving Supplies

For do-it-yourself moves, AVL sells a variety of standard and specialty moving boxes, including the following:

  • Boxes for small but heavy items
  • Mirror/picture frame cases
  • Standard moving boxes
  • Boxes for large but lightweight items like linens
  • China barrels for breakable dishes and glassware
  • Wardrobe boxes

 


 

American Van Lines Cost

American Van Lines will provide a binding estimate, or flat-rate price, following a thorough virtual or in-person review of your home. This is the amount you can expect to pay on moving day. For this reason, AVL does not provide any instant online quotes

An AVL relocation specialist will determine any difficult access or exit points during the home review, such as narrow hallways and winding staircases. The company will also help you develop a detailed inventory of your belongings. 

AVL will use the home review findings to determine your binding estimate. Other factors that impact the cost of your move include the distance, date, and estimated size of your relocation (measured in total weight).

You must pay a deposit of 10% to 50% of the total cost to secure your moving date. American Van Lines accepts credit cards, cash, and checks.


American Van Lines Reviews

Our analysis of more than 100 online reviews found that American Van Lines customers were frequently pleased with the company’s courteous and efficient service. Those who posted negative reviews about AVL often noted damage done to homes and belongings during loading, unloading, or transportation and scheduling delays. Examples of online customer feedback are listed below.

Total Professionals

“Total professionals who work precisely and efficiently. Upmost morals and high amount of respect for their client. Would not hesitate to hire… again.” Read more
Janet Leach via google reviews

Would use again

“Price was fair and delivery was on time. Movers were friendly and communication between the moving company and delivery truck was very great…. Couple of items were lightly damaged but this will happen with most moves, honestly. Used American twice: from Florida to Massachusetts and from Massachusetts to North Carolina. Overall, I am happy with this business. I have recommended them to family and friends….. We paid what we were quoted. Would use again for a bigger move.” Read more
Thomas DiBlasi via Google Reviews

Polite and Courteous

“Had a great experience. Very professional. Done in a timely manner….. The movers were great. Worth every penny. Usually moving is an unpleasant… experience but not with these guys. They made it very pleasant. No stressing at all. Got the job done right. Even the personnel I spoke with on the phone and through email…were polite and courteous. I would highly recommend this company for all your moving needs. I will definitely use them again in the future.” Read more
Wendi Lanzi via google reviews

 


 

How American Van Lines Compares to the Competition

Here are key highlights of how AVL compares to other movers:

Company Star Rating BBB Rating Service Model # of Specialty Services Link
4.7
Our Rating
B Carrier and broker 9 GET ESTIMATE
4.8
Our Rating
A+ Carrier 10 GET ESTIMATE
4.7
Our Rating
A+ Carrier 10 GET ESTIMATE
4.9
Our Rating
A+ Carrier and broker 10 GET ESTIMATE
4.4
Our Rating
A Carrier and broker 9 GET ESTIMATE

 

Our Recommendation

American Van Lines is a well-established company with a knowledgeable full-time moving staff. The company is limited in handling local moves and is, therefore, a better fit for long-distance relocations. But with widespread availability and an ample fleet of trucks, AVL is worth considering if you are planning an out-of-state or cross-country move. 

AVL may be particularly appealing to homeowners with a fine art collection, antique furniture and decor, or oversized items like pianos and fitness equipment. The company has moving divisions dedicated to handling antiques and pianos. Additionally, AVL’s storage and contents coverage offerings include options specifically for high-value pieces.

Other full-service moving companies have similar services, however, so it’s important to reach out to at least three providers to compare those services and their costs before making a final decision.

 


 

American Van Lines FAQ

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

No. Although the companies have similar names, American Van Lines and North American Van Lines are separate companies with different owners. Both companies are van lines, meaning they operate in part through large nationwide networks of moving providers. For example, AVL might outsource a local move outside its immediate coverage area by coordinating the relocation with a third-party agent within that network of movers.

Is American Van Lines a broker or carrier?

American Van Lines is licensed and insured as an interstate moving carrier through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the Department of Transportation (USDOT). The agency assigns interstate movers an identification number. AVL’s number, 614506, can be verified by searching FMCSA’s online database. A carrier provides at least some moving services directly, while brokers are not actual movers. Instead, they work to match customers with moving companies in their area.

When is the best time of year to move?

May through August is generally considered the peak season for residential moving. To avoid scheduling difficulties and peak rates, companies typically have more availability from early September through April. Off-season pricing is also usually lower than in the May-to-August window.

Are my moving expenses tax-deductible in 2022?

According to the IRS, moving expenses are no longer tax-deductible for most taxpayers. The change is due to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which included changes to the previous rules on claiming moving expenses. Those changes took effect in the tax year 2018 and will remain in place at least through the 2025 tax year.

 


 

How We Chose the Top Moving Providers

We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on a number of factors, including package options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on customer-review analysis, proprietary consumer surveys, and interviews with former and current moving professionals.

Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined the number of package options available, the coverage provided, the types of moves available (long-distance, local, and international), and any extra perks offered, such as mobile apps, moving checklists, and 24/7 customer service.

We also gathered pricing data from each of the companies and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. To determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as their overall score on Yelp.