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The Best Moving Companies
Ultimate Buyers Guide

The Best Moving Companies

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The best moving companies offer speedy, reliable service without breaking the bank or causing a headache. Whether you're moving down the street or across the country, moving can be an extremely demanding and exhaustive time. The best moving companies are there to make your life easier.

In my review, I made sure reliability, customer service, and costs were at the top of my list. No one wants their treasured belongings lost or damaged, so it's important to find a good moving company. I have reviewed the best moving companies to help you find the company that best suits your needs.

The Best Moving Companies: Our Top Picks

Atlas Van Lines Review

  • Pros
  • ProMover Certified
  • Offers full valuation protection
  • Packing options
  • Various moving types- local, long distance, and international
  • Cons
  • Valuation protection is limited and not governed by state insurance law

Atlas Van Lines is a well-rounded moving company. They are ProMover certified and provide every service from local to international. You can also choose between full-packing, partial packing, and do-it-yourself packing.

Atlas's best moving company offers full valuation protection, which is a version of insurance to reimburse any lost or damaged belongings. Unfortunately, their valuation protection is governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation instead of by state law.

Essentially, this means they may not be penalized for not adhering to the insurance contract. Additionally, your belongings must be worth at least $10,000 for you to be eligible for full value protection.

Atlas Van Lines is a well-rounded moving company. They are ProMover certified and provide every service from local to international. You can also choose between full-packing, partial packing, and do-it-yourself packing.

Atlas's best moving company offers full valuation protection, which is a version of insurance to reimburse any lost or damaged belongings. Unfortunately, their valuation protection is governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation instead of by state law.

Essentially, this means they may not be penalized for not adhering to the insurance contract. Additionally, your belongings must be worth at least $10,000 for you to be eligible for full value protection.

National Van Lines Review

  • Pros
  • Various moving types - local, long distance, and international
  • FMCSA Satisfactory safety rating
  • ProMover Certified
  • Great Customer Service and Driving Record
  • Cons
  • No self-service
  • No insurance

National Van Lines was established over 80 years ago and are one of the best-rated moving companies out there. They are known to have great customer service and safe driving records.

National Van Lines work throughout the country and internationally. Just make sure they have an office near you. They have a satisfactory rating from the FMCSA and are certified ProMovers.

The only downside to National Van Lines is they only offer partial service and full service. They also don't mention any type of insurance on their site, so make sure to ask.

International Van Lines Review

  • Pros
  • Great Customer Service with Live Chat
  • Various moving types - local, long distance, international
  • Packing options
  • AMSA accredited and FMCSA registered
  • Cons
  • Limited full value shipment protection with full-service only - not governed by state law

International Van Lines has become one of the best known moving companies in the U.S. with an excellent customer service record. They even provide live chat online for immediate help with questions and concerns.

International Van Lines is AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association) accredited and FMCSA registered. They offer full value shipping protection only if you opt for their full-service move. Furthermore, your shipment will only be covered if its value is $10,000 or higher.

Luckily, they will ship to anywhere in the country as well as internationally. Just make sure there's an office near you and choose between full-service or self-service packing.

American Van Lines Review

  • Pros
  • Various moving types - local, long distance, International
  • Licensed and insured with Department of Transportation
  • ProMover Certified
  • Fixed rates for any type of service
  • Packing options
  • Cons
  • Compensation for lost or damaged goods varies

American Van Lines is another great moving companies. They established themselves in 1995 and have been providing affordable, flat-rate moving services ever since. American Van Lines' flat-rates go for both packing options: self-service or full-service.

Even if you end up needing specialty assembly, you'll get everything for the same estimated flat-rate. This way, you know exactly what you're getting yourself into from the start.

American Van Lines also offers every type of move, from local to international. They are licensed, insured and registered with the Department of Transportation and are certified by ProMover. They offer insurance as well as protection and provide an entire guide on their site detailing their policies.

Colonial Van Lines Review

  • Pros
  • Packing options
  • Various moving types- local, long distance, etc. (no international)
  • Cons
  • No insurance or protection
  • Doesn't specify where they are licensed and insured

Colonial Van Lines offer similar services than the rest of the best moving companies. They have do-it-yourself, partial or full packing options and local to interstate moving. Unfortunately, they do not deal with international moving.

Colonial Van Lines also does not specify on their site where they are licensed or insured. After some research, I couldn't find an FMCSA or AMSA certification or registration.

This doesn't mean Colonial Van Lines can't be trusted, but you should certainly be a little more cautious when dealing with them. I would also make sure to get a binding contract put in place.

Key Considerations When Looking for a Moving Company

Over 35 million people move to a new home every year in the U.S., according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As a result, there are numerous moving companies out there offering to help. But how do you make a decision on one?

If you're worried about finding the best moving company, there are certainly some things to consider.

1. How far are you moving?

How far you're moving will determine which companies you can use and what it will cost to move your things. Some companies are local, some long distance, some interstate, and some international. Many also offer a full range of services.

2. How much will it cost?

Obviously, you want to know what prices you're working with before you hire anyone to move your stuff. If you've just moved into a new place, chances are you're on a budget. It's important to consider how the company calculates prices to determine if it's worth it.

The thing is, price calculation is different depending on what type of move you're executing. For instance, a local move charges by the hour while an interstate move is based on the weight and kind of service you purchase: self-service or full-service. Make sure to explore and compare all of your options and measure what you're going to need before you choose the best moving company.

3. Do they have a reputation for friendly customer service and reliability?

When you hire one of the best moving companies, customer service and reliability should be at the top of your list to consider. After all, these people are going to be in your house handling your sensitive belongings.

Back in 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation shut down five moving companies for holding their customer's belongings hostage. As you can see, it's important to be completely sure of the reliability of your moving company before you make a decision.

How are the moving company reviews? Have customers been satisfied with their service in the past? Is the company known for late delivery?

You can check out the FMCSA Licensing and Insurance site and the Department of Transportation to make sure your moving company of choice is registered. Also, do a quick Google search to make sure the company doesn't have too many complaints on their record.

4. Do they offer mover's insurance?

Many of the best moving companies offer insurance in case anything gets lost or damaged in the move. What if your TV breaks or your wooden table cracks?

It's nice to know you will be reimbursed for the price of the damages, especially if you're on a budget. Keep in mind, though, that insurance isn't free. It usually only comes with full-service and will likely only cover your shipment if it's over $10,000 value.

If you do decide to purchase it, read the contract and make sure you know the details of your coverage. For instance, some companies offer "protection" instead of insurance, which is not governed by state law.

Additionally, if you go with self-service and pack your own things, insurance will probably not be an option. They do not cover what they don't pack themselves.

Types of Services

Local Moving Companies

Small local moving companies and services will only move up to 2,000 lbs. within 50-100 miles. If you don't have much stuff and are moving somewhere relatively close, this could be the perfect option. They usually charge by the hour.

Long Distance Moving Companies

Long distance moving companies and services will move your stuff if you're going over 100 miles but stay in the same state. The price usually depends on weight and distance.

National Moving Companies

If you're moving to a new state within the U.S., it is considered a national or interstate move. The price of this type of move will be determined by the total weight of your belongings and whether you use full or self-service.

International Moving Companies

International moving companies are exactly what they sound like. It's a huge hassle to move large collections of things out of the country.

If you need your stuff shipped to a different country, you're going to need the best international moving service for the job. Your estimate for an international move will be made based on volume in cubic feet or meters.

Corporate Moving Companies

Corporate moving companies are experts in uplifting entire businesses and moving them to new locations. They usually guarantee fast service and will do their best to get your business back running as soon as possible in its new location.

Tips & Advice

Before you make a decision on the best moving company for you, here are some tips and terms to note.

Binding Estimates vs. Regular Estimates

When you first get an estimate for your move, it's not binding. The company can't know exactly how much to charge until they have seen the amount of stuff you have. Once they've done this via video, photo or in person, then you can get a binding estimate.

If the company doesn't offer binding estimates up front, you need to ask. Without a binding estimate, they can charge you more than you agreed to move your stuff. It happens all of the time, so it's important you pay attention.


Valuation is defined as the estimated dollar value of the load you're shipping. The valuation of your load will usually determine whether or not you're eligible for insurance or protection.

Full, Partial and Self Service Moving Companies

Full-Service movers will pack, load, unload, and unpack all of your belongings for you. With a full-service move, you really don't have to worry about anything. They also usually offer insurance. If you pack your own things, moving companies won't provide the option to insure them.

A self-service move involves a lot more work. You have to pack and unpack all of your own belongings. The best moving company of your choice will load everything for you, drive your stuff, and unload it when they get there.

...if you go with self-service and pack your own things, insurance will probably not be an option.

If the company says they'll move you anywhere, there may be a catch.

Many companies say they'll move you anywhere, and they will. But they actually will only move your stuff from certain locations. Many companies will not travel to you from their location to move you to another location. Make sure you understand this when you call for a quote.

Watch out for scams

If you choose to go with a moving company outside of this list, you need to look out for scams. For instance, just a couple months ago, a lady lost $15,000 worth of belongings to scammers. They advertised their services on Facebook, packed up this woman's apartment, and she never saw them again.

According to the government, one in 10 Americans who move each year create reports that their moving company is holding their belongings hostage. These people will ask for more money and hold your stuff until you give it to them.

What would you do if this happened to you? Well, that's a question I hope you'll never have to answer. Always, always, always check on legitimacy before choosing the best moving company for you.

Check to see if they are an AMSA member with ProMover certification

AMSA stands for American Moving and Storage Association. Any moving company can apply for a membership and register for the AMSA. If they are accepted, they can become ProMover Certified. AMSA and ProMover Certified moving companies are:

  1. Licensed
  2. Insured
  3. Compliant with federal regulations
  4. Rated well on the Better Business Bureau
  5. Vetted and certified
  6. Abiding by ethical business practices

The best moving companies will usually advertise their ProMover certification on their site. Obviously, if a moving company is ProMover certified, you won't have any problems with legitimacy. This will save you the hassle of vetting the company by yourself.

If the best moving company of your choice is not on this list, though, don't worry. This does not necessarily mean they aren't legitimate. It just means you're going to have to make sure they are.

Alternatives to Moving Your Things

Are you questioning whether you actually need to hire one of the best moving companies? After all, some people don't want strangers touching their belongings. It may also be cheaper to take another route. If you're unsure, here are some other options.


  • PODS are an extremely efficient moving and storage option. Instead of hiring a moving company, you can rent a POD.
  • First, you choose what type of service you need. PODS will move you across town or across the country, with or without storage depending on your needs.
  • Once they know what you need, PODS will deliver a storage container to your house whenever you want it. This way, you can pack whenever you have the time.
  • With PODS, there's no need to worry about driving your stuff or hiring the right company. You do the work when you want and PODS will move or store the stuff for you when you're ready.
  • With PODS, quotes take a little more effort than U-Pack. You need to wait for a reference number and then call for a quote.


  • U-Pack is similar to PODS. If you let them know what you need, they'll drop off your container.
  • They will also deliver U-Pack containers to local and national destinations.
  • One difference with U-Pack is that you only have three days to pack up your things. They also tend to be cheaper than PODS.
  • After you pack, U-Pack will move your container to your destination for you to unpack.


I have learned a lot while choosing the best moving companies in the U.S. I read numerous moving company reviews, studied each company's rules and procedures well, and researched the ins and outs of the industry to provide as much information as possible for you to make a decision.

Overall, if I were moving my things to another block, town or state, the top companies I've listed all have great customer reviews and are the best and most reliable moving companies out there. I believe every company on this list is capable of providing you with the best moving company experience. You can get a free quote on every website right now to determine whether the price is in your ballpark.


If you have a ton of bulky belongings you'd rather not deal with, I recommend hiring one of these five best rated moving companies to do it for you. Choosing from this list will save you the hassle of searching for a legitimate moving company. It may also save you a pulled muscle or two.

Now that you know how to get your move on, you should look into getting your new home insured. If you're renting, read through our guide on the best renters insurance companies for a better understanding of insurance and where to get it. If you've just purchased a new home, you should definitely take a look at our best home insurance companies.

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While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our ranking system is independent of compensation and reflects our understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.