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How Much Does It Cost for A Private Investigator UK?

There are many factors to consider with regard to private investigator costs. Location is a key factor and services in the UK don't cost the same as they do in other parts of the world. Even within the UK, you may notice that there are variations in the private investigator fees depending on the exact location. Cities, towns and other locations with high operating costs are likely to have higher private investigator costs.

Estimated Cost Of Services In The Private Investigation Industry

Different services will require the use of different skills and equipment. Some services may also take longer than others or require more effort. Because of this, there are differences not just in the costs but how the costs are calculated.

There are services that are charged at an hourly rate and other services that are charged a flat fee.

The range of private investigator costs for typical services in the UK include:

  • Surveillance: This service can cost anywhere from £45 per hour to £75 per hour. This cost variation is down to differences from one agency to the next and also due to factors in individual cases
  • Missing persons tracing: This service is usually charged a flat fee starting from £150
  • Serving legal documents: The typical costs for this service range from £85 to £150.
  • Background checks: This increasingly common service is now available from around £55 per hour to £95 per hour here in the UK
  • Vehicle tracking: This service is also becoming more common and the cost of service can be between £200 per device and £800 per device depending on the type of tracking data required.
  • Lie detector costs: On average, you can expect to pay around £600 for each test.

Most other investigative services such as debugging, competitor profiling, attending court sessions and theft investigations can cost anywhere between £55 per hour and £95 per hour.

It's not unusual to find private investigator costs that are well above these. This can be due to the circumstances of your case.

Comparing Prices In Other Parts Of The World

There are other parts of the world where the private investigation market is just as big as it is here in the UK. In the U.S., private investigator costs vary between $28 to $70 per hour. On average, the hourly rate there is around $35 to $38. Gas mileage is also added at $0.31 for every mile. These costs aren't too different from what you find in the UK.

However, there are parts of the world where private investigators fees can be as high as £210 per hour. Many agencies will require a deposit to offer their services. The amount of deposit will depend on the case. In the US, an infidelity case may require a deposit of up to $3500 while criminal defence investigations may require a $700 to $2500 in deposit fees.