Thinking about booking your move with Colonial Van Lines? We did the heavy lifting. The Moving Feedback research team made some calls and did some digging to see whether Colonial Van Lines is worth your time.
Every move is different, and so is every mover. To get you the best info possible, we posed as customers and gave Colonial Van Lines a call, asking about a few different moves so we could get a better picture of what they offer – and what you can expect on moving day. Along the way, we took plenty of notes about their services, their pricing, and how well their team met our needs.
If you’re in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to our detailed pricing table and check out our in-depth review and breakdown of how our call went. Otherwise, read on for some info about how Colonial Van Lines started, and how they operate.
In this article
Colonial Van Lines has been in the game for over 20 years. They’re based in Pompano Beach, Florida, but they have a nationwide reach and they can handle local and long distance moves alike. They’re a family-owned company, and they’re committed to careful and safe moving. They even have a mockup home in their main warehouse for training purposes.
As for their services, Colonial Van Lines has a pretty broad menu. They can handle local and long distance residential moving, but they also offer corporate relocations and storage depending on your needs. They also provide a few different packing options depending on how hands-on you want to get on moving day.
|Best Service||Best Overall||Best for Long Distance||Best Customer Reviews||Most Affordable|
|20% Military Discounts||15% Seniors & Military Discounts||18% Flexibility Discount||20% Seasonal Discount||15% Student Discount|
|$4,156 - $5,082 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)||$4,861 - $7,763 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)||$2900-$6500 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)||$2850-$6350 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)||$4200 - $7150 (Avg. 2-3 bedroom)|
|Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote||Get a Quote|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
When we spoke to Colonial, they were able to email us a few quotes with prices ranging from $4156.49 to $5,082.13. However, before you get too excited about the price, you need to know a few things about how Colonial Van Lines estimates the cost of a move.
Other moving companies calculate the price of a long distance move by weight and distance, and local moves are usually calculated per mover, per hour. However, Colonial Van Lines relies on a comprehensive inventory list. This means you’ll have to figure out the exact items you’re hauling, and you need to communicate the contents of your list with your moving rep.
For our hypothetical moves, we received emailed quotes based on inventory lists that we provided. For our third move – which was a bit less specific – our rep was still able to give us a ballpark estimate, but Colonial can’t give you an exact quote without an exact inventory list.
INSIDER INFO: Not sure if you’ll be adding anything before moving day? Our Colonial Van Lines rep told us that as a general rule of thumb, their moves cost about $1.68 per pound. If you can guesstimate the weight of your stuff, you can get a pretty close idea of how much you’ll pay with Colonial.
|Distance of Move||Size of Move||Cost|
|CA to TX||7000 lbs||$4151.00|
|CA to NY||3500 lbs||$5058.00|
|IL to TX||7000 lbs||$7500.00|
Our first move was from California to Texas. When we were on the phone with our agent, we provided a basic list of furniture and belongings: a mattress and box spring, a desk and an office chair, and a couch. We also needed them to help us move a couple of bookcases.
With full packing, our move would cost $4156.49. If we only wanted partial packing, Colonial could move us for $3,616, and with self-packing, they’d have us moved for $3540.
Our second move was from California to New York. Like our California to Texas move, we provided a basic list of furniture. We needed to move another mattress and box spring, as well as an office chair, couch, and a few bookcases.
With full packing, Colonial Van Lines gave us a quote for $5,082.13 for full packing. If we wanted partial packing, it’d be $4,488, and $4412 for self-packing. While the weight was similar to our California to Texas move, the longer distance would result in higher transportation costs.
While our agent was super helpful, we’re still waiting on our emailed quote for the CA to NY move.
Lastly, we were going from Illinois to Texas. Colonial gave us a phone quote for about $7500. With partial packing, the price would be $6,997, with self-packing, the price would be $6890.
When we asked about our third move, we provided a rough estimate for how much we’d need to move. We needed to transport a three bedroom home, and our Colonial rep crunched some numbers after looking up the address.
While our rep was able to give us a rough ballpark figure on the phone, he stressed the importance of having a detailed inventory list. If you’re thinking about moving with Colonial, you need to provide a whole list of the big items you need to transport (our smallest item in our inventory list was an office chair) so they know exactly how much you’re moving, exactly how many boxes you’ll need, and exactly how much to charge.
We’ve dealt with a lot of NYC movers, but Colonial really stands out. While it’s a little tough coming up with a detailed inventory list, their moving rep was a real winner. We were happy to deal with someone who was genuinely interested in making our move a success, and it made the whole process smooth and easy.
Most movers these days have an automated system in place to handle incoming calls. Fortunately, Colonial’s phone menu took a grand total of one keystroke to get through to a real person – and we didn’t have to wait more than thirty seconds to connect with our rep.
Let’s talk about Mitchell. This guy was an MVP. He clearly communicated with us about our needs, and he even threw in some useful tips and tricks about the services that Colonial offers and how we could save a bit of money when planning our move.
Right off the bat, Mitchell was courteous, professional, and completely attentive to our requests. It’s not every day someone calls in with three different moves, but he took it all in stride and walked us through each one. You could tell he he wasn’t just trying to sell a service – he was genuinely interested in helping out.
Mitchell walked us through our moves, and he also took the time to explain how Colonial tallies up the price of a relocation. If the rest of the Colonial reps are like Mitchell, you’ll be in good hands (especially since he would be our single point of contact if we decided to go through with our moves).
Mitchell filled us in on all the details, and he gave us a good idea of what we could expect from Colonial Van Lines in terms of add-ons and services. Aside from packing, furniture assembly and disassembly, and storage, Colonial also has an in-depth approach to account management and communication through your whole move.
When you book a move with Colonial Van Lines, you actually get a whole network of departments cooperating to make your move a success. These departments include a QA desk that checks in to make sure you’re happy with your services, a dispatch department that handles scheduling, and a verification department that makes sure your move is progressing as it should.
It sounds complicated, but in execution, Colonial makes it easy: You only deal with one person, a selected representative who manages your move and connects with all the different departments that are involved.
Much like other movers, Colonial offers a bare minimum level of insurance coverage. This comes out to about $0.60 per pound of items lost, damaged, or destroyed in transit. There’s a hard ceiling on your payout, so if you had a serious accident with your shipment, the most you could collect is $20,000.
Mitchell also took the time to walk us through our options for third-party insurance offered by a Colonial affiliate. Colonial Van Lines is partners with Movinginsurance.com and Baker Insurance, so if you need full value coverage, you can buy a policy with either of those options.
Pro tip: Mitchell reminded us that some private insurance providers can cover your move as well. Don’t forget to check with your renters or homeowners insurance provider to see if your move is already covered.
We weren’t offered any specific discounts, but Mitchell explained that we could get better pricing if we were more flexible with our moving dates. According to him (and confirmed by our own experience) the summer months are the most expensive for planning a move, and he recommended pushing our move date back by just a few weeks so we could save money with a late-September booking.
Without a solid booking date, Mitchell was able to give us a 10-20 day moving window for both our California-based moves. However, the Illinois to Texas move would take about half the time. Mitchell walked us through why some moves take longer than others, and that kind of insider info is always really helpful.
Some moves take longer than others, but not how you’d expect. Smaller moves actually have longer durations: Moving companies don’t like to send half-empty trucks all over the place, so if they have a partial load, they’ll make some pickups and drop offs along the way. It’s just more efficient that way.
On the other hand, a full truck (like the one for our Illinois to Texas move) gets sent directly to the destination. Movers can only pull 10-hour shifts, but it’s still a lot faster without any stops on the way.
|Los Angeles to Austin||~2,100 pounds (inventory list)||1,383 miles||10-20 Days|
|Los Angeles to New York City||~2,100 pounds (inventory list)||2,799 miles||10-20 Days|
|Chicago to Austin||3 Bedroom Home (Phone estimate)||1,120 miles||2-9 Days|
Don’t just take our word for it – take a look at what Colonial Van Lines’ customers are saying around the web:
“They were accessible and responsive. They called regularly particularly before I signed up and paid them money. But we didn’t know exactly what was going on until the truck driver showed up. They gave us the basics. They packed the stuff up and they did very well. That was the best in town. We didn’t have any broken dishes.”
Mark. Via Consumer Affairs
“While I was impressed with the people I worked with at Colonial, I was NOT impressed with the Ortiz movers. I was charged $75.00 by my landlord to repair the scratches they put in the wood floors. I also counted six broken antique dishes (from my grandmother) that cannot be replaced. I chose Colonial because of the high rating and rave reviews. I did NOT choose Ortiz.”
Ruth Ann Hoy. Via Trustpilot
While we weren’t offered any explicit discounts during our call, our rep did tell us that we could get a cheaper move by being a little more flexible with our move date. If you’re planning on booking a move with Colonial, try to avoid the summer months so you can get the best price possible.
A move with Colonial can take anywhere from 1 to 20 days – it all depends on how much you’re moving and how far everything has to travel. A cross country move will take a lot longer than a move across town, but keep in mind small moves are often delayed while carriers make pickups and dropoffs along the way.
Like other movers, Colonial Van Lines experiences peak moving periods during the summer months and the end of each month. There’s increased demand for moving services during school vacations and whenever lease agreements expire. It’s advisable to plan your move well in advance if it falls within these busier periods.
Colonial Van Lines offers base-level insurance coverage, but it’s just $0.60 per pound with a $20,000 cap. However, they’re partnered with Movinginsurance.com and Baker Insurance in case you want to shell out for full-value protection. You can also check whether your renters or homeowners insurance policy will cover moving.
According to our call with Mitchell, Colonial Van Lines doesn’t rely on subcontractors. They own their own trucks and they have their own moving teams, so you always know who’s showing up on moving day.
We were really impressed with Colonial Van Lines – especially the service we received from our representative. He made the whole process easy to follow and downright enjoyable. Colonial seems to understand that first impressions are important, and they put their best foot forward by having a guy like Mitchell answer your call.
While it can be a pain to fill out an entire inventory list of your items when you’re planning a move, Colonial requires the extra info so they can give you an accurate quote. Can’t blame them for a commitment to accuracy.
Overall, we have no problems recommending Colonial Van Lines. If you’re thinking of booking a move with them, start making your inventory list and give them a call today!
You made it to the end! Thanks for reading Moving Feedback’s review of Colonial Van Lines. Best of luck with your move, and don’t forget to check back in with us for more tips, tricks, and insider info to make moving day even easier.