Moving into a new home is an adjustment, and movers who take care when delivering your belongings can ease the process. In our opinion, International Van Lines (IVL) is the best overall full-service mover to help with that transition.
IVL offers comprehensive packing and unpacking services and short- and long-term storage, and IVL serves all 50 states and 180 other countries. We’ve ranked IVL as one of the best moving companies in the U.S., and we’ve reviewed its services, customer impressions, estimate process, and more below.
Our Take on International Van Lines
In our evaluation of International Van Lines, we noted the company for its wide range of moving services, global availability, and straightforward quote process. Overall, our review team scored International Van Lines a 96 out of 100.
One standout feature is IVL’s insurance coverage, going a step beyond what most competitors offer outright. In addition to the two standard contents coverage options required by law, IVL offers its customers all-risk or named-perils insurance. We found these insurance options to be beneficial for a customer’s financial protection and peace of mind in an industry often marred by complaints of lost and damaged items.
Holding authority as a moving carrier and broker, IVL will outsource a portion of its contracts, and we uncovered mixed customer reviews regarding communication and the quality of service. However, by using a large partner network and its own in-house crews, IVL is able to coordinate relocation services nationwide and around the globe.
Pros and Cons of International Van Lines
Here are a few pros and cons of International Van Lines:
International Van Lines Availability
International Van Lines moving services is available in all 50 states and in more than 180 countries internationally.
International Van Lines Moving Services
International Van Lines is a licensed moving broker and carrier, coordinating local, international, and long-distance moving services. IVL is a full-service provider, giving you a chance to manage your move without the heavy lifting or the hassle of driving a rental truck. We’ve outlined more details about some of the moving services offered by International Van Lines below.
- Packing services: With comprehensive packing assistance, professional moving crews pack every box for you, disassemble and reassemble furniture if necessary, load, transport, unload, and unpack your belongings.
- Auto transport: IVL offers auto transport using open and enclosed carriers for interstate moves and container shipping for overseas moves. GPS tracking is provided for your peace of mind. IVL will transport motorcycles as part of its standard full-service package for an additional fee.
- Custom crating: For full-service moves, IVL offers custom crating for fragile and high-value items. Movers will use basic protective materials such as pads and blankets at no extra charge, but you can expect to pay $250 to $400 for items packed in custom crates. These crates offer a higher level of protection during transit for household goods such as artwork, antiques, and electronics.
- Storage services: Short- and long-term storage solutions are available, with the first month included free of charge at the place of origin. You can also request to use the storage-in-transit option to have IVL hold your belongings closer to the destination.
- International moving services: IVL holds authority as a freight forwarder through the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to conduct international moving services. IVL can arrange to deliver your shipment by sea or by air and will provide destination services, such as unloading and debris removal. For small shipments, IVL can combine your inventory into a shared container to cut costs.
- Contents coverage and third-party insurance: IVL offers basic liability protection free of charge and full-value protection for an additional fee, with several deductible levels ranging from $150 to $2,000. It also works with a third-party insurer to offer all-risk and named-perils coverage.
- All-risk insurance is for IVL’s full-packing service, costs 4% of your items’ declared value, and protects against any amount of physical loss or damage to the shipment, with claims handled directly by the insurance company instead of the movers.
- Named-perils insurance is for IVL’s self-packing service, costs 3% of your items’ declared value, and ensures that the insurance company pays out claims if you have a total loss of your shipment due to conditions outlined in the policy.
- Piano moving: Piano moving is best left to trained professionals who have the proper equipment and know the most effective techniques for moving such a heavy yet fragile item. IVL offers to move pianos for an additional fee that varies according to the type of piano, with a general range of $150–$350.
- Corporate and office relocation: A full business relocation service includes standard packing assistance with add-on options such as IT removal and crating. Upon delivery of your shipment, you can request that IVL assist with storage and debris removal.
International Van Lines Cost
We used IVL’s instant cost calculator tool to get pricing estimates below. These are ballpark estimates. To get a more accurate pricing estimate, we recommend speaking to an IVL representative.
Estimates for long-distance moves:
Long-distance moving costs are usually determined by the weight of your items, distance of the move, and the moving date (due to heightened demand in the summer).
- $2,500–$4,300 (2-bedroom, 1,179-mile move from Orlando, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois)
- $7,500–$9,700 (2-bedroom, 2,429-mile move from Orlando, Florida, to San Diego, California)
Estimate for local moves:
- $900–$1,500 (2-bedroom local move with three movers)
Local moving costs are almost always billed at an hourly rate. Here’s a look at hourly rates depending on the number of movers needed, according to IVL’s website:
- Three movers: $150 per hour
- Four movers: $200 per hour
- Five movers: $250 per hour
- Six movers: $300 per hour
International Van Lines Booking Process
The International Van Lines booking process is straightforward and includes the following steps:
- Request a quote: Request a free quote by calling 888-293-1891 or by filling out an online form. You will need to provide basic information about your move, including the number of bedrooms, the projected move date, and the origin and destination cities.
- Choose your services: When speaking with your IVL moving coordinator, you should specify your intention to self-pack or to use the company’s professional packing services. Mention whether the move will require using multiple flights of stairs or an elevator, and inquire about custom crating for any high-end items. Remember that moving bulky items, such as pianos, will result in higher fees. This is also the time to ask about vehicle shipping.
- Survey your inventory: You have the option to schedule an in-home or virtual survey of your home’s inventory. You can also request a rough estimate by self-reporting your inventory, but a survey will result in the most accurate cost for your binding estimate.
- Book your move: You will need to pay a 33% security deposit when you sign the contract to book your move. On your pickup date, 50% of the balance is due. You can pay with cash, cashier’s check, or money order. The remaining balance is due when IVL delivers your shipment.
Note: For cancellations, IVL will fully refund your deposit unless you cancel within 2 days of your original booking date.
International Van Lines Reviews
International Van Lines has solid customer satisfaction ratings across the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot customer reviews. The company is not accredited by the BBB, but it has a B rating as of March 2023.
The few negative reviews stated that the company missed the delivery date and did not communicate sufficiently about hired help and its broker status. On the other hand, happy customers complimented the company and its team for being reliable, fast, and efficient.
“The International Van Lines movers were outstanding! Our use of their packing service paid off as expected. They packed everything more securely than we could have and handled our belongings with extreme care.” —Doris via Trustpilot on Feb 6, 2023
“Moving is very stressful, but International Van Lines sure made things easier! I would give them ten stars if I could! They were accommodating and always pleasant, and they showed up ON TIME and were ready to work. The workers are VERY STRONG and had no problem moving our safe and appliances down a spiral staircase.” —Clifford via Trustpilot on September 26, 2022
“They do not disclose they are a broker and use substandard companies that pick up their help off craigslist. The particular awful company they subbed out for my move destroyed everything! Additionally, law requires movers to offer full insurance and IVL did not (because they were subbing out the move). Bad company!!!” —Jacki via Trustpilot on January 16, 2023
International Van Lines vs. Other Moving Companies
International Van Lines vs. American Van Lines
American Van Lines is another of our top moving companies. It operates exclusively as a carrier through the lower 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. Aside from directly handling all moves, American Van Lines’ crews average 10 years of experience on the job. This makes them adept at carrying out special packing and crating requests.
IVL brokers out many of its domestic moves, which could make American Van Lines the better choice for long-distance moves within the United States. However, IVL’s international reach and ability to manage logistics for overseas relocations make it a better choice for international moves.
International Van Lines vs. Interstate Moving & Relocation Group
Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) works exclusively as a moving broker. It provides moving help in all 50 states, and offers a quick and easy cost calculator tool on its site. It also provides in-depth partner carrier bios, with helpful moving resources. It compares favorably with IVL for domestic moves, but International Van Lines’ reach for international relocations make it a more favorable choice for longer moves.
We recommend comparing personalized quotes among at least three movers before you sign a contract.
|Superlative||Star Rating||BBB Rating||Link|
|International Van Lines||Best Full-Service Mover||B||VISIT SITE|
|American Van Lines||Most Experienced Mover||B-||VISIT SITE|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group||Most Efficient||B||VISIT SITE|
|Safeway Moving Inc.||Most Customer-Oriented||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Moving APT||Best Customer Service||B||VISIT SITE|
|JK Moving Services||Most Customizable||A+||VISIT SITE|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||A+||VISIT SITE|
|International Van Lines|
|Superlative||Best Full-Service Mover|
|American Van Lines|
|Superlative||Most Experienced Mover|
|Interstate Moving & Relocation Group|
|Safeway Moving Inc.|
|Superlative||Best Customer Service|
|JK Moving Services|
|North American Van Lines|
|Superlative||Best for Claims|
|Allied Van Lines|
|Superlative||Best for Vehicle Relocation|
Fine Print in Moving Contracts
Understanding your moving contract is key to having a positive moving experience. We recommend that you keep copies of your contract and estimate once you’ve booked your move. Some of the moving industry terminology can be confusing if you’re not familiar with these contracts—here are a few things to look for on your move contract.
Carriers vs. Brokers
International Van Lines maintains authority as both a carrier and broker. It serves all 50 states, which enables it to handle moves in any location. However, its range as a carrier for domestic moves is fairly limited. Carriers are movers that directly handle the moves they book. This means that, if you book with a given mover, it will send its owned and operated trucks and immediate employees to carry out your relocation.
Moving brokers will contract your move out to third-party carriers. This is how IVL handles most of its moves within the United States. Its partners in your immediate area will largely determine what services are available to you.
Binding vs. Non-Binding Estimates
When you get a quote from any moving company, pay attention to the wording on any copies of your estimate that you receive. Non-binding estimates are typically subject to change, depending on market fluctuations between quote day and moving day, and are typically yielded over the phone or from online quotes.
Binding estimates, however, will not shift unless your inventory or service needs change between quote day and moving day. You’ll typically need an in-person consultation or video call estimate to get a binding quote. In either case, pay attention to the wording on your contract and estimate to avoid paying unnecessary fees or higher rates than expected.
As mentioned above, we recommend getting quotes from at least three moving companies before committing to a provider. If possible, you should begin researching different movers at least eight weeks before your move date. This will ensure you book with the best mover without compromising due to scheduling difficulties.
IVL is one of the best moving companies for international and long-distance moves due to its extensive international and domestic reach and partner companies. You can get a free quote from International Van Lines by filling out this quick online form. A representative will contact you to set up your free move consultation.
FAQ About International Van Lines
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score out of 100.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.