arrow2019 Guide to Private Investigator Costs

When looking for a private investigator, it is only natural for you to want to know how much it is likely to cost you.

As Insight knows all too well, there is no such thing as a “typical” investigation, which means that sadly there is in most circumstances no so-called ‘flat-rate’ for these types of services.

Every private investigator is unique, and whilst many of the techniques and processes they carry out are similar, every case is ultimately different.

We have analysed several Private Investigator and Detective companies throughout the U.K, and from our findings we are able to bring you a guide to the current approximate costs for Private Investigator services.

Private Investigator fees can vary depending on the company, and it’s important to find one that you trust, not just one that offers the cheapest rates. You are paying for time and expertise, and more than often, an experienced investigator will typically charge more per hour, but will usually complete the job in less time.

It is also likely that extra fees incurred such as mileage and other job expenses will be added on to the original asking price, however, at Insight Investigate, our fees are fully inclusive of all job expenses.

  • Surveillance fees are typically from £55 per hour although they can range up to the extreme of £150 per hour.
  • Tracing people will typically cost around £150 to £350
  • Background Checks are usually £55-£95 per hour, depending on the complexity.
  • RTA and Incident Plans are typically around £200

Here’s the full list of prices:

Private Investigator Price List

You should be aware that the following figures are simply guidelines as to what you might expect to pay when engaging a Private Investigator and every firm and every case will be different. All the first companies we spoke to were happy to provide fees estimates upfront, so don’t forget to ask for this when you call.

Surveillancefrom £55 per hour
Surveillance fees vary dependent on the complexity and location of the investigation that has been arranged. This is combined with the quality of the agency that you choose. Typical costs for Surveillance start from £55 per hour, with several firms needing to work between 4-6 hours minimum in order to gather enough evidence.

Tracing Enquiriesfrom £150

Tracing Enquiries can be a straightforward affair but has the potential to become incredibly complex as time goes on. Prices can vary depending on a range of circumstances, for example if the person you are tracing is abroad, then this may cost extra. Simple tracing enquiries can start from £150.

Process ServingFrom £85 Fixed
Most firms across the country operate on a fixed fee basis for Process Serving. Typical prices can range and are usually between £85-£150, depending on the level of service that you require.
Background ChecksFrom £55 Per Hour
Carrying out Background Checks are becoming more important these days, and many firms and businesses feel the need to do these in order to protect themselves against any further issues and also to save money. Straightforward company checks on Companies and Services generally start at £200 and usually increase from there depending on the size and complexity of the task.
RTA and Incident plans£160 – £220 Fixed
Typical fees for RTA and Incident Plans range from between £160 and £220, with most firms also charging for mileage and expenses on top of this original figure.
GPS TrackingFrom £300 – £800 Fixed
The firms that we spoke to typically had two rates for GPS Tracking, one for historical tracking and another for live tracking. Prices for these services varied from £200 to £300 for historical tracking, and £500-£700 for live tracking.
Other Private Investigator Service FeesFrom £55 Per Hour
There is a whole host of other services offered by Private Investigators, and each have their own charges. After conducting our research, we found that you got paid for, and those who offered a higher fee were typically members of professional bodies, have had years of experiences and we able to provide us with case studies of previous jobs. Most reputable private investigators will only quote for assignments that can be completed legally within the U.K.

Private Detective Costs

If you don’t choose the right investigation agency first time, the total cost of hiring a private investigator can be pricey. This is because many agencies provide you with a quote, which turns out to be a basic price with additional costs that are incurred over the course of the investigation; such as mileage and minor disbursements.female detective with camera

Here at Insight, we are completely transparent when we provide you with a quote for our private investigation services. Our prices are fully inclusive of all expenses, that are reflective of the nature of your enquiry.

We believe in giving you value for money from the initial point of contact. Each investigation is different, even if the principles of the investigation are ultimately the same. When you contact us with your enquiry, we are happy to share with you our years of experience and knowledge on the best way to approach your case, in order to get to the truth of your problem.

Insight’s fully inclusive pricing includes:

Minor Disbursements [This could be costs of a beverage or similar that is justified by the need for an investigator to be in a bar/ coffee house or similar circumstances. This would not include the scenario of our investigator having to book a 1st class flight to New York on a surveillance enquiry, but it does cover the basics.]
Agent’s travel time [To and from the starting location of the operation]
Mileage [Except in exceptional circumstances]
– Client Reporting [Written or Digital or Verbal]
– Client Liaison [This covers all telephone conversations you may have with us and email correspondence]
– All Set-Up Fees

Insights hourly charges are based on the complexity of an enquiry and the level of investigation that will be required in order to bring it to a successful conclusion.

Typically, some agencies will quote lower than Insight do, however, we advise that you query any quote that you receive, to ensure that you are only expected to pay that figure and that there will be no hidden costs.

At Insight, we provide you with a fully inclusive price, plus VAT.

If you are looking for a better firm to investigate a matter for you, you should generally expect to pay slightly higher prices, and make sure to ask for all professional accreditations and bodies before asking the company to work for you. That way, you know you’re dealing with professionals, who will handle your case in the right way.

An important factor to consider when hiring a Private Investigator is how do you pay.  Make sure you choose an Investigation Agency that offers various forms of payment and not just bank transfers, or handing over cash.

For further insight into the cost of an investigation, please call one of our experienced team who will be able to explain the costs in more detail. Call us now on 0800 144 8149.

**Prices were obtained in a blind sample during early 2016 and revised early in 2017, 2018 and 2019 however they may be subject to change at any point. All prices will be subject to VAT at the prevailing rate if the firm you use is VAT registered.

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