Price List

Fees and costs

We have a floating fee scale that is built to the specific needs of our client.

We charge either a daily rate or an hourly rate with all fees being exclusive of GST and expences

Once we have agreed a fee with our client, we will hold to the agreement.

If circumstances change we will re-negotiate

We will ask for a deposit before we start work and once the deposit is received we will commence work.

Our fees are always competative and negotiable.

Typical costs:
  • Private investigators typically charge an hourly rate plus expenses. Depending on the type of work done, the location and whether the case requires one investigator, two or more, the hourly rate can vary $40-$300 an hour but typically averages about $50-$100 an hour. Often an investigator charges for a minimum number of hours of work, typically 2-8 depending on the type of services needed. Most investigators charge for the time spent talking with the client (a brief initial consultation may be free) or typing up a formal report, and the hourly rate can be higher for out-of-town, evening or weekend work.
  • Expenses can include an administrative or set-up fee of $50-$150 per case; $0.20-$0.75 per mile driven; hotel or other travel costs; fees for taking photographs or video ($5-$10 per photo or a flat rate of $30-$50); and any charges like government record/filing fees or lab tests.
  • Like lawyers, most private investigators require a deposit known as a retainer before they start working on a case. The retainer is based on an estimate of the number of hours of work that will be required; it might be $500-$2,000 for a simple project or $3,000-$10,000 or more for a complicated and time-consuming situation. As the work is done, the billable amount is deducted from the retainer. If the job takes more hours than expected, the private investigator will ask for authorization to keep working and require additional payment. If the case takes less time than predicted, the remaining amount of the retainer might be refundable, although it can be subject to the minimum charge. For example,J C Lyde and Associates ] in s  charge $75 an hour and$0.60 per mile for a single investigator and vehicle; $50 a day for the use of a GPS tracker with a three day minimum; and $6 each for 5"x7" digital photographs or a flat $30 video fee, with a minimum $1,000 refundable retainer for a domestic surveillance case.
  • Results cannot be guaranteed and total costs vary depending on the number of hours needed to find the desired information. A straightforward domestic infidelity case that is easily resolved might cost $500-$1,500, but could be $2,000-$5,000 or more; a criminal defense investigation that takes 25 to 50 hours might cost $1,000-$6,000 or more; and a complicated search for a birth parent or an adoptive child might be $5,000-$10,000. For example, Versatek Security[2] in Virginia estimates the majority of domestic cases cost $1,000-$2,000.
  • A private investigator may charge a flat fee for specific projects like background checks or research. A standardized records search might cost $20-$200 or more, depending on what is included; and monitoring a GPS tracking device could cost $50-$75 a day (with a 3-7 day minimum). For example, J C Lyde and Associates charge $25 to verify a social security number, $75 to check a motor vehicle or driving record, and offers pre-employment and background search packages for $85-$185, with a minimum "no hit" fee of $25 even if a records search finds nothing.