Comparing Long Distance Moving Companies: United Van Lines vs. Mayflower vs. Allied Van Lines

Moving across the country is a significant step that demands meticulous planning and, more importantly, the right moving company to ease the transition. When you're relocating your life, every step, from packing to the move-in day, must be managed with care and expertise. United Van Lines, Mayflower, and Allied Van Lines have been flag bearers in the long-distance moving industry for decades, each with its unique set of features, services, and customer satisfaction rates. As a prospective mover, it's imperative to understand the differences to entrust your big move with a company that aligns with your needs.

This post dives deep into a comprehensive comparison of these moving titans – their services, pricing, customer experience, and more, ensuring that you are well-equipped to make an informed decision for your next big move. Whether you're transitioning to a new career opportunity or looking for a fresh start in a different location, choosing the right long-distance moving company paves the way for a comfortable and hassle-free experience.

Unpacking the Essentials of Long-Distance Moves

Long-distance moving companies are not just carriers of our belongings; they are facilitators of our life changes. The essence of a well-accomplished long-distance move lies in the details – from the subtleties of how your antique collection is to be handled to ensuring your pet arrives safely at your new home. Such attention to detail typifies the best moving companies and sets them apart from the rest.

In our exploration of United Van Lines, Mayflower, and Allied Van Lines, we're not just comparing prices and services; we're crafting a narrative about the role they play in the mosaic of a significant life event. By understanding and appreciating their unique value propositions, you can make this critical event a more manageable and even enjoyable experience.

Getting to Know the Players

Before we deep-dive into comparisons, it's essential to take a glance at the histories and strengths of each company.

United Van Lines

Started in 1928, United Van Lines boasts a legacy of 90+ years. It prides itself on an extensive network of agents across the United States and partnerships with international moving companies. Its services go beyond moving by offering packing, unpacking, and storage solutions. Renowned for top-tier customer service, United Van Lines is often recognized in the industry for its customer satisfaction and offers various insurance options to safeguard your belongings.


Originating in 1927, Mayflower is heralded for its customer-centric approach. Boasting a modern fleet and advanced technology, Mayflower emphasizes a streamlined moving experience. It offers a moving planner tool, 24/7 customer service, and flexible moving services tailored to your needs. Mayflower's name recognition and national network ensure a service that's simultaneously personal and professional.

Allied Van Lines

Established in 1928, Allied Van Lines, a subsidiary of SIRVA, Inc., provides an unparalleled global reach with over 400 locations worldwide. It is known for its diversified suite of services, including corporate relocation, government, and military moves. With a commitment to eco-friendly moving practices, Allied Van Lines has set benchmarks in sustainability. Its extensive network also means that they offer a comprehensive suite of end-to-end moving solutions.

Delving Into The Key Attributes

Drawing a fair comparison involves looking at the prices, services, customer experiences, and the overall convenience each company offers. Here's a breakdown of the factors you should consider before hiring a long-distance moving company:

Pricing Strategies

Moving costs can quickly add up, and it's vital to have a clear understanding of pricing structures, potential extras, and any cost-saving strategies each company may offer.

Cost Breakdown

  • United Van Lines: Utilizes a 'Your Price' system where they assign a color-coded price to your inventory. You can get an initial quote with a free virtual consultation.

  • Mayflower: Offers transparent pricing with a dedicated move coordinator who will guide you through the process and can address any cost concerns.

  • Allied Van Lines: Provides a similar 'Your Price' system with the added flexibility of lump sum or hourly billing depending on the situation.

Special Discounts

  • United Van Lines: Offers a variety of discounts, including concessions for AAA members, AARP discounts, and referral offers.

  • Mayflower: Awards incentives for early booking and special discounts for military personnel and veterans.

  • Allied Van Lines: Promotes seasonal promotions and discounts on packaging materials for their customers.

Watch Out for Extras

  • United Van Lines: Access to various packing kits, with the price varying as per the kit's contents.

  • Mayflower: Additional charges may apply for high-value items due to unique packing requirements.

  • Allied Van Lines: Extra fees for moving pianos, pool tables, and other specialty items.

Service Offerings

Beyond the price tag, the services included can significantly impact your moving experience.

Packing and Unpacking

  • United Van Lines: Provides a full-service, partial pack or do-it-yourself options, catering to every packing need.

  • Mayflower: Offers the DIY packing kit (where they provide packing materials) or complete packing assistance.

  • Allied Van Lines: Customizes packing services and has a unique 'Fragile-Only' packing program.

Storage Solutions

  • United Van Lines: Offers 1-month complimentary storage with various options for short- or long-term storage arrangements

  • Mayflower: Provides a 30-day 'StarPlus' storage assurance program with no rental charges for that period.

  • Allied Van Lines: Boasts a network of secure and climate-controlled storage facilities with short- or long-term options.

Additional Services

  • United Van Lines: Has specialized services for seniors' moves, home theater setups, and more.

  • Mayflower: Offers automobile transportation in addition to standard household moves.

  • Allied Van Lines: Specializes in corporate relocation and military moves with specific expertise and programs.

Customer Experience

In the age of online reviews and recommendations, the voice of the customer plays a crucial role in the perception of a moving company's credibility.

Online Reputation

  • United Van Lines: Scores high on online reviews, with particular commendation for the professionalism of the movers.

  • Mayflower: Holds a generally positive reputation, with a focus on personalized service and efficient moves.

  • Allied Van Lines: Enjoys a favorable rating for their on-time arrivals and responsiveness to customer concerns.

Service Quality

  • United Van Lines: Stands out for its thorough communication with customers, ensuring a smooth process.

  • Mayflower: Known for its post-move check-ins to ensure customer satisfaction and address any lingering issues.

  • Allied Van Lines: Offers a dedicated move coordinator to act as a single point of contact throughout the moving process.

Coverage and Reach

The distance you're moving dictates the importance of coverage and reach in ensuring a smooth service.

  • United Van Lines: Offers extensive coverage across the U.S., Canada, and even abroad, ideal for international moves.

  • Mayflower: Provides comprehensive national coverage with swift and meticulous relocation plans.

  • Allied Van Lines: Boasts an extensive global network, securing a robust support system for international and domestic moves alike.

Pros and Cons Evaluation

To see the full picture, it's important to lay out the strengths and weaknesses of each company.

United Van Lines

  • Pros: Known for its national account and military service, along with their well-regarded customer service and streamlined processes.

  • Cons: While praised for its service, some consumers find the upfront pricing quote system less intuitive.


  • Pros: Impressively flexible services and comprehensive move management technologies set them apart.

  • Cons: Their premium offerings can sometimes reflect in the pricing, which may be higher than competitors for similar services.

Allied Van Lines

  • Pros: Allied's long-standing reputation and specialized services are marked strengths, including impressive overseas moving capabilities.

  • Cons: Some customers note occasional issues with communication and damage claims, impacting their experience negatively.

Real-Life Moves Analyses

Understanding how each company has handled real-life relocations is where the rubber meets the road.

Success Stories

  • United Van Lines: A family moving from New York to California praised the seamless process and careful handling of their fragile items.

  • Mayflower: A business executive's testimonial credited Mayflower with quick and efficient relocation, crucial for their time-sensitive move.

  • Allied Van Lines: A client moving from the U.S. to Europe highlighted Allied's expertly managed international move with minimal stress.

Making the Final Call

With the thorough inspection of the offerings from United Van Lines, Mayflower, and Allied Van Lines, it's evident that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a moving company. Ultimately, your decision should be based on your unique needs, preferences, and the specific circumstances surrounding your move.

When choosing a moving company, consider the effect on your peace of mind. Read thorough reviews, ask for recommendations, and even reach out directly to the companies to get a feel for their level of service. In moments that profoundly shape your life, a little extra due diligence goes a long way.


Your move is more than boxes and addresses; it's a personal event that deserves the best support possible. The diligence in comparing United Van Lines, Mayflower, and Allied Van Lines is tantamount to ensuring that your moving partner aligns with your vision for this critical juncture. Consider this guide not as a set-in-stone roadmap but as a versatile tool to carve out a path that signifies the next positive step in your life. Happy moving!