The cost of a private investigator varies according to your specific situation and which services you need but, usually, PIs will either charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee that is discussed during your initial consultation.
Although the cost of hiring a private investigator may halt you in your efforts to find a solution to your problem, it’s important to do your research well and prioritise quality of service over cheap deals.
Overall, hiring a professional and reputable private investigator will save you time, money and trouble.
How much does a private investigator cost?
There is no ‘standard’ price for private investigation services.
Generally, a private investigator will quote a fee based on an hourly rate and the number of hours a job is likely to take. A wide range of other factors will influence this rate, including your location, the private investigator’s location, the amount of information you already have (which can speed up or delay the process of finding missing persons), the required equipment and manpower, the time of day the investigation takes place and the scale of the job.
While an hourly rate can at first seem a high cost to commit to, especially if you are unsure how long the job is going to take, opting for cheaper options is seldom worthwhile.
Less experienced private detectives with fewer resources will often take longer to complete a given job or may cause you additional costs in court if they do not adhere to strict legal standards, potentially setting you back even further than hiring a professional PI. For this reason, no matter the type of service, starting with investigators you can rely on is more cost-effective.
A professional private investigator is well aware that no two jobs are the same and will adapt their approach to be bespoke. Different jobs require different services, resources, levels of skill and human resources. For example, for some jobs, the desired results are achieved through a one-off technological manoeuvre, such as with asset or vehicle tracking.
For this reason, PEL investigations can offer certain standard services for a very reasonable price (such as UK credit reports or background checks), while longer-term jobs such as covert surveillance or fraud investigations will have their fees estimated once the parameters have been established.
What other costs should I expect from hiring a Private investigator?
Some independent Private Investigators charge for additional costs incurred, such as travel fees, mileage, set-up fees and other obstacles they may encounter during a job.
Be wary of hidden extra costs. Rather than spring unexpected fees on clients, a professional and highly-regarded private investigation agency will be completely transparent with additional or side costs. These are typically in accordance with the nature of the job itself and may include installments/payments in advance.
How will I be charged for hiring a private investigator in the UK?
All private investigators accept debit and credit cards. Cash is also possible, though additional checks must be carried out for the benefit of and security of both parties.
PEL Investigations is a member of the Association of British Investigators. Please note that PEL Investigations place legality and ethics above all in their work and will not commit to or agree to breach the law for any proffered sum of money.