How much does a Private Investigator cost?

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.


4 Responses to How much does a Private Investigator cost?

  1. Hiba Elali says:

    Today I recieved an email from someone saying he is a private investigator and his number was all 0’s. He said he has been following me for a long time and he has every phone call i’ve ever made for the past 16 months.And every time i text or call my husband this person new exaclty what i said. Is this possible? Please help me. and no it is not my husband he’s just as confused as i am. Please help me!!!!!

    • Yes, it is possible that he may have access to your cell phone conversations and text msgs, but this is illegal without your consent. Typically how this is done is software is installed on your cell phone which then allows the individual to access it remotely. How to solve the problem? Easiest way is to get a new phone. That being said, you could try to figure out who the person is and file criminal charges against him. A legitimate PI would never do what you are describing, and why would he/she then contact you? It’s illegal for him to access your phone communications without consent.

      Feel free to contact me

      James Pollock
      Bulldog Investigations and Security LLC
      DCJS 11-6038

  2. What To Expect When Hiring A Private¬†Investigator…

    Deciding on hiring a private investigator to watch someone is a big decision. It usually means there’s a problem. And problems don’t go away on their own. They need some type of intervention. Most of my clients have wanted their spouses or …

  3. Good blog article John, glad you touched on a common misconception about nationwide firms. As a PI myself, when I need help on a case, I look to hire a local private investigator that’s an owner/operator. Look forward to more posts.

    Ryan Garrahy, PI
    Orange Investigations
    Orange, California

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