Private Investigator Cost
If you want to use the services of a private detective, then you’re probably wondering what the hiring costs will be. All over the US, the fees of a private detective may vary depending on the type of service and location. For investigators with extensive experience and training, expect to pay higher fees. The numbers cited in this article are estimated based on average prices offered by private detectives from all over the United States.
Before hiring a private investigator, first of all, find out the costs and charges of the services you need. Most of them offer a first consultation meeting for free. Here are some questions you can ask a private detective, concerning the fees:
- Does the private detective charge a flat fee for his services?
Some private investigators may impose a flat fee for certain basic services such as background checks, research, and specialized equipment such as GPS units. Other services that usually have a fixed rate may be:
- “bug sweeps” of home or car
- identifying a cell phone number
- criminal records search
- GPS monitoring
- vehicle registration number search
- What are the hourly fees of a private detective?
Hourly rates vary depending on the place of the private detective office, the difficulty of investigation, and if the private detective will need assistance from other investigators.
All along the country, the fees range from about $40 to $100 per hour. The average hourly rate is about $50 – $55 per hour. Keep in mind that there may be some additional charges attached to the hourly rate. A common plus may be the mileage expenses that usually are around $0.45 per kilometer.
This hourly rate may increase significantly if the services of another private detective are needed in order to complete your case. For example, if a private detective needs the assistance of an associate overseas, the hourly rate may increase. In other areas of the world, private detectives charge as much as $300 per hour.
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- Does the private investigator require a deposit or retainer in addition to the private investigator fees?
Many private detectives require an advance or deposit of money in addition to fees, for services rendered and expenses. Some private detectives can determine fixed fees depending on the needed services. For example, research data may require a deposit of $500, while a case of infidelity may require a deposit of up to $5,000. A criminal defense case may require an advance of anywhere from $1,000 and up to $3,500. The following factors help determine the amount of the advance:
- The airline/hotel costs
- Travel costs
- estimated number of supervision hours
Usually, a private investigator does not require a down payment if you use his services through an attorney, because the lawyer is responsible for ensuring the detective’s bill payments.
At the moment you hire a private detective, make sure you keep track of his / her work and ask for detailed reports of the completed work. Do not forget to sign a detailed contract in which, all the private detective’s services are mentioned.
Are these services too expensive for the average working Joe?
They might seem high and you could find an ultimate low on these services, but when the time comes and you do need a private investigator, finding an experienced one is a must because in most cases they need to know what they’re doing, for the best results and to ensure that the target doesn’t figure out what’s going on.
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