Colonial Van Lines has more than 50 years of experience in providing long-distance residential and corporate relocation services for clients around the U.S. Though it is nominally based in Pompano Beach, Florida, it now provides moving services throughout all lower 48 states. If you’re looking for a fully optimized and modern moving experience, Colonial Van Lines offers you some of the best service options. Read our full review to learn more about the following:
- Whether Colonial Van Lines is a good fit for your move
- The services Colonial Van Lines offers
- What past customers thought of their Colonial moving experiences
- How much your move should cost
Our Colonial Van Lines Review
Colonial Van Lines’ availability, service profile, and experience providing some of the best moving experiences to its clients make it a leading option for most long-distance and interstate moves.
Colonial is a long-standing top professional that has thoroughly adapted to modern moving. This provider can offer quick quotes either online or via its mobile app. Through this, customers can send videos and pictures of their inventory to a move coordinator who will render a ballpark estimate.
While Colonial is one of the leading options for long-distance moving services, clients would be best served by looking into reviews for the location they plan on booking. Colonial’s network of 200 local agents throughout the U.S. provides moving services of varying quality and proficiency. Common complaints about negative experiences report poor communication during the quote process, leading to inflated costs.
Risk factors for poor moving experiences can be mitigated by providing ample information to your move coordinator when getting quotes. You should also be aware that Colonial provides ballpark estimates for virtual quotes. This means that these figures are not guaranteed. If you get copies of your move contract and estimate before moving, you should be able to ensure a good move with Colonial.
Pros & Cons of Booking Moving Services with Colonial
- Its mobile app makes booking and estimates relatively easy.
- Available in all lower 48 states
- Moving and packing kits are available.
- Colonial has beginner guides to each state operating area on its website.
- No local moving option
- Sometimes contracts move out to other companies.
How Much Does Colonial Cost?
Colonial provides ballpark estimates for most of the moving services it offers. That said, cost estimates are pretty accurate when prospective clients provide thorough notes and inventory lists to their given move coordinator. Average rates for moves with Colonial fall within industry norms and can be influenced by the following:
- Move distance and shipping weight: These two factors are used to determine long-distance moving costs. “Line-haul fees” can change between your estimate and moving day, as shipping weight can’t be confirmed until your truck has been weighed.
- Service requirements: Add-ons like packing services, custom crating, storage, or antique moving can inflate costs. For instance, full-service packing for a mid-sized or large home can double your costs, depending on the boxes you need and how much time your packing takes.
- Move date: Moving season peaks during the warmer months. If you’re moving between May and September, your moving costs could be higher, as movers must cope with increased demand. Similarly, your costs could be higher if you opt to book your move around the beginning or end of any month. At the very least, you could run into problems with booking the mover of your choice because apartment leases begin and end around these times. Increased demand will, again, make things a bit more complicated.
- Booking date: We recommend booking your move at least a month in advance. While Colonial Van Lines does have limited last-minute booking capabilities, you should never bank on securing a quality mover with little to no planning. Even if you can do so, the odds of getting an accurate quote in the last week before your move are stacked against you.
- Ease of access: Narrow driveways, tight parking lots at an apartment complex, and other similar issues can lead to higher costs. For local moves, you’ll usually pay for this in the form of more hours worked. Long-distance moving quotes often provide for long carries and extra flights of stairs by charging a single flat fee. It would be best if you asked about this during your quote process.
Here, we’ve included some average rates for Colonial’s full-service moving packages:
|<250 mi||500 mi||1,000 mi||2,000 mi|
|2 BR||$1,850 – $4,600||$2,250 – $5,500||$2,750 – $5,750||$4,250 – $7,250|
|4 BR||$3,250 – $6,100||$5,600 – $8,700||$7,250 – $10,000||$10,500 – $12,750|
What Services Does Colonial Offer?
Colonial Van Lines can provide an excellent range of basic and add-on services. All moves are assigned a dedicated company representative to ensure that your household items are well cared for throughout the process.
Colonial provides some of the best long-distance moving services in the U.S. Whether you’re moving from New York to California or just a single state over, this mover can offer an excellent solution. Colonial can assist with your residential or corporate moving needs if you can plan far enough in advance.
This mover has previously operated through subcontractors to complete moves of all sizes. To avoid this and to ensure that the mover you’re hiring is the one who will complete your move, you should discuss this with your move coordinator.
If you need full-service packing to go with your move, then Colonial can provide leading professional-grade assistance with various service options. When you request packing from this mover, you’ll be afforded a few different options to suit your budget and needs, including:
- Single-item packing: If you have a single antique or fragile item that needs professional care, then Colonial’s movers will be able to lend a hand. This full-service mover has ready access to all the supplies and moving know-how to safely get your goods from point A to point B.
- Kitchen-only packing: This challenging aspect of a full-home pack often gets left until the last minute. This is often due to the fact that certain kitchen items are needed up until moving day. Colonial has the moving supplies and expertise needed to handle this.
- Full-service packing: As the name suggests, this entails a full-scale packing of your home. Movers will typically handle this the day before your scheduled loading to expedite the actual move. Whatever you need packed, including clothing, basement or garage items, and more, can be handled by Colonial.
Colonial can provide this service through its storage facilities, as well as partnerships with other storage providers across the country. This is an excellent option for residential and commercial clients, as the facilities this mover advertises are secured and kept under reliable surveillance. Clients who have odd intervals between moving out of their old homes and into their new ones should also ask about this mover’s “storage in transit” service option.
Service Area & Availability
You can schedule an interstate or cross-country move with Colonial Van Lines throughout all lower 48 states. This has expanded a fair amount recently, most notably in the Northern U.S. You’ll be able to book a move in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How To Schedule With Colonial
Colonial’s booking process is relatively similar to that of most other large moving companies. As a bonus, they have one of the better mobile apps in the industry. This makes getting virtual estimates for service fairly easy. When logged into an account on the app, you can take video surveys of your goods with custom notes for your account manager to review.
Such mobile and virtual estimates can only yield ballpark figures but are still a great way to expedite the moving process and make for a speedy move. We recommend booking an in-person estimate with Colonial if the timing permits.
As with any move, you should begin preparations around eight weeks in advance. Take a thorough inventory of your home and note any special services you may need. Once you’ve gotten quotes from all movers you consider in your area, you should aim to have your move booked a month in advance.
When booking with any moving company, you should look for a few key indicators before signing any contracts. These include:
- FMCSA registration: Movers who provide interstate moving services must maintain federal registration. Aside from being acknowledged by the FMCSA, such movers have to carry active USDOT and MC numbers. These can be used to look up a mover’s registration status through this link.
- State registration: Local movers, or movers primarily based in a specific state, will have to be locally registered there. Each state will have its own criteria, ranging from being registered with a statewide governing body to a simple business license.
- Proper insurance: All movers must provide released liability coverage for loss or damage to goods. This amounts to $0.60 of reimbursement per pound per item. This minimum coverage can be supplemented with valuation coverage from most movers.
- Solid reviews: Simply put, customer reviews are your best single resource to use when evaluating movers. You’ll find more helpful information regarding your potential upcoming move there than you will during any moving quote or in-home estimate.
Colonial Van Lines Reviews From Actual Customers
Before booking with one of Colonial Van Lines’s 200-plus agents around the country, you should first look into the customer reviews for that particular location. Do this for every provider you consider for your upcoming move. Reviews from Google, Yelp, BBB, and more should tell you all you need to know about customer care, service offerings, and the accuracy of a mover’s estimates. We’ve collected a couple of telling reviews from actual Colonial customers here:
Philip’s experience turned positive due to Colonial’s excellent customer service. However, his actual move showed common points of miscommunication for both clients and movers. Much of this could have been avoided with a more thorough estimate:
“This review has been upgraded to 5 Stars due to the dedication and effort of Donna in the Resolutions department. Donna’s response and customer service were excellent, and I greatly appreciate her willingness to represent my case. If I were to execute another move, I would have Donna’s number on standby. She is a true professional.
What started off as a promising experience turned extremely negative very quickly. I elected to execute a partial pack-out. The initial estimate had an amount that the partial pack-out would cost. I was advised that the driver would have extra boxes if more were needed. What was not stated was the labor that was charged in addition to each box. I was left with an additional $2200 put on my bill.
Additionally, while three different people called me under the guise of ‘customer service,’ they all had different information regarding the scheduled dates. They were asking me what I thought the weight would be and if I required a bigger truck. How should I know? That is your job! When I asked for clarity regarding the partial pack-out, letting them know what I was accomplishing each time, they simply said the driver would have more supplies if we fell short. If I had known that a box provided by the driver (with the associated labor, which wasn’t disclosed) would cost the amount it did, I would have packed my own kitchen.
What is most frustrating is the fact that two different individuals…one from customer service and one from finance, both assured me a supervisor would be calling after hearing my complaint. Two weeks later, still no call!”
Lulu’s Bradenton, Florida, move had more than its share of hiccups. Unfortunately, service can be hit or miss with large movers of this size in any location. In this instance, the movers themselves did excellent work, while the customer service side of the move lagged behind:
“Contacted mid-April and confirmed our moving date of 05.21 from Va. to Fl. with a 50% deposit. Getting an estimate was easy; they walked you through every detail. Paying your deposit was even easier; they are on top of getting you to pay up and secure the date.
A week before the move, Chris called to finalize last-minute changes. I decided to donate things that took a good 2k lbs off our original 8500 lbs, 65 boxes per new estimate. That brought the price down to a $5,400 ballpark estimate. Or so I thought.
That was a huge mistake. I finished packing two days later and had more than 40 boxes, so I called 3x to readjust the weight and number of boxes again. Crickets from Chris, the new moving coordinator, didn’t help at all. She only communicated logistics and delays.
The moving day came. Movers arrived at 4:30 and drove a half-full truck. They loaded our things and finished at 10 pm with our mattress tied, hanging on the back of the truck. They actually ran out of room.
We were told delivery was between 05/24-06/02. The driver confirmed as early as the 26th. The actual delivery date was on Memorial Day. We indoor-glamped for a week, and sleeping on a blow-up bed was a pain.
Every time the moving coordinator called to let us know of another delay, the only time we heard from Colonial.
Takeaways from our frustrations:
1. Don’t change the weight or number of boxes from the original quote. The estimate is pretty spot on. Original: 8500 lbs, 65 boxes – 5900. Adjusted: 6500 lbs, 40 boxes- 5400. Final: 7800 lbs, 56 boxes -6900.
We had less weight and boxes from the initial quote but ended up paying 1500 extra on top of the adjusted price. I was told the price was fixed, but they do weigh everything and adjust the price accordingly.
2. If you need furniture packed- expect to pay hundreds of dollars more. We paid 600 for having them pack furniture, TVs, and mattresses.
3. EXPECT DELAYS!!! If there’s anything they’ll guarantee, it’s DELAYS.
Three stars for the movers. Those guys worked hard. We only had a small scratch on the curio cabinet door, which was no biggie; selling the mammoth anyway. Unloading, furniture, and tv unpacking and set up took about 3 hours.
Glad this move is it. Don’t think I can go through this kind of a headache again.”
Colonial Van Lines’ residential and corporate relocation customers comment on the quality of the actual laborers and movers they’re provided. As a selling point, all moving companies aim for solid crews, but Colonial has definitely achieved that end.
Negative reviews of Colonial Van Lines report on miscommunication regarding delivery windows and pricing. Clients can mitigate the risk of encountering these issues by looking into location-specific reviews and by collecting hard copies of moving contracts and estimates before moving day.
Frequently Asked Questions About Colonial Van Lines
How are packing services billed for interstate moves?
This will depend on whether or not you book packing as part of a full-service moving package or as a separate service altogether. Packing services booked independently will be billed at an hourly rate. If your packing is a part of a larger moving package, then it will be folded into a single price, which will include the transportation of your household goods to your new home.
What are delivery windows for long-distance movers?
For multi-day moves, your moving company will give you a general timeframe for delivery of your goods. Your pickup date should always be set, but beyond that, your movers will be able to cover around 400 miles per day in their moving trucks.
Can I include mover tips with my final credit card payment?
This will vary from company to company. However, this is generally not allowed by company policies. Even if your specific movers allow you to fold your tip into the final bill, cash is always preferred for numerous reasons.
Are moving quotes always free?
Yes. You should never be asked to pay a deposit or added fee for a moving estimate from any provider. Free quotes are standard practice across the moving industry and across many other similar service-oriented fields. If a customer service representative requests payment before a contract has been signed, this is a sign that your mover is trying to scam you.
Today's Homeowner Rating Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.
- Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
- Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
- Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
- Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
- Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.