The price a private investigator charges for services varies greatly depending on many different variables. The most important variable is location. The location a private investigator resides in will affect the firm’s number of potential clients. An investigator in a rural area is less likely to charge as much as an investigator in an urban area simply because the firm may not have a lot of business. The cost of living of the area will also affect the rates of firms. Some investigations require specialized investigators. For instance a forensic accounting or financial investigation may cost much more than a typical surveillance operation.
The biggest mistake people make when conscripting an investigation is to hire a (supposed) national firm. These firms charge well over $100.00 an hour. Then the firm will sub-contract the investigation to a local private investigator. It is typical for these firms to sub-contract these investigations to independent private investigators for as little as $300.00 a day. These investigations are sometimes successful, but are typically brute in their method. These firms may put an investigator on a house for eight hours even if it is completely uncalled for, and the investigator is not able to deviate from a preconceived plan.
In Northern Virginia the price for an hour of investigation ranges typically between $65.00 and $125.00 plus mileage and expenses. In my opinion it is always better to contract with a local private investigation firm unless a national management firm has some type of value added for handling numerous nationwide investigations for a single client. A national firm may be the way to go if you have numerous ongoing investigations in many states.
By: John Leonard
All rights reserved. Do not copy, distribute, or reproduce without permission from VersaTek, LLC.