Choosing a private investigator can be a tricky task. You need to make sure you trust the company and they have the proper experience to get the results you’re after. But before all that you’ll probably be wondering how much it actually costs…
The simple answer is that it varies. In this post, we’ll break things down – looking at what factors affect the cost, how services can change the price and why it’s important to choose a professional & discreet company.
Ask the right questions
The average cost of hiring a private investigator can vary from case to case and company to company. There’s no one size fits all approach. Instead, when searching for a private investigator, it’s important to find one that fits your criteria.
Whether it’s long-term surveillance or one-day GPS tracking, don’t just go for a big company because you’ve heard of them. With a bit of research, you can usually find a smaller company that gives you the same high quality service for half the price. With smaller companies, you also get a higher level of customer service and a more personal approach.
To find the best fit, it’s best to ask plenty of questions – do they provide the services you need? Are they a reputable company? Do their team have experience? Are they insured? What equipment do they use? Any respectable organisation will answer all your questions openly and honestly.
What factors affect the cost?
Every investigation is unique, with no two cases providing the exact same outcome. However, the services and techniques private investigators undertake are very similar. The difference between companies comes down to resources, time, experience and equipment.
Number of operatives
Depending on the size of the case, there will be a discussion about how many operatives will be involved. Naturally, this will affect the overall cost. On an average job, there will be a minimum of two people. This will help them complete the investigation without compromising their positions. In surveillance cases, for example, the person being followed is less likely to suspect anything if two different people are following them. They won’t continually see the same person or the same vehicle.
Another factor to consider is the type of equipment your investigation will need. Does it require specialist cameras, technical devices or GPS trackers? The average private investigator fees will vary depending on the type of specialist equipment and the manpower required.
When weighing up your options with different companies, find out if agents have any specialist skills. Although private investigators don’t require a police or military background, for example, it does give clients that extra peace of mind. With this prior knowledge and experience, you can expect legitimate, expert results.
Similarly, a CROPS trained operative will have specialist surveillance training and the best intelligence gathering skills. This will affect the cost due to the nature of the job and its requirements.
Length of case
Whether it’s a one-hour background check, a one-day tracking job or long-term surveillance, you need to consider the length of your case. The amount of time you need from a private investigator will affect how much it costs. This is typically determined with an hourly or daily rate.
Different fees for different services
Unsurprisingly, the type of services you require will differ depending what results you’re after. As such, the cost will also vary depending on which service or combination of services you need. This can include:
Private investigator UK costs for surveillance can vary according to the duration, the location and the complexity of the case. Whether it’s finding a missing person or following a suspected cheating partner. You need a company that is ready for whatever is thrown at them. Your case may need a number of operatives and a range of specialist equipment.
Private investigators can help you successfully locate and track vehicles, whether it’s your own car or somebody else’s. So, if you’re suspicious of your partner or you want to check the expense claims of an employee, GPS tracking can help.
The cost of the services can also include an online live tracking panel, which allows the client to log in and find out the location of the vehicle. At Hunter Surveillance Services, this includes tracking history, movement alerts and deployment & retrieval.
Are you worried an employee is attempting to steal your clients? Do you suspect office theft? Or a staff member feigning sickness? Private investigators can offer corporate investigations to uncover any evidence. This can help you form a case, potentially saving you thousands of pounds in losses.
As this process can include any number of private investigation services, including surveillance and GPS tracking, the fees can vary from case to case.
Professional & discreet
When weighing up the costs of each service, you also need to ensure the private investigators you hire are discreet, professional and 100 per cent above board. This provides peace of mind that you’re receiving the best quality services, without compromising the final results. It’s particularly important when you’re gathering evidence to stand up in a court of law.
No costs should come as a surprise. Instead, a professional company will provide a quote, where they can break down the structure and costs before you agree to anything. It’s crucial you’re comfortable and understand what the process involves and how long it will take.
Private investigators in the UK
Looking for a private investigator you can trust? Hunter Surveillance Services provides professional surveillance covering everything from fraud and corporate investigation to GPS tracking. We’re ICO registered data controllers, with a wealth of experience providing the evidence you deserve. Using approved surveillance methods and industry-leading technology, we help our clients discover the truth every time.
To find out more about our range of services, get in touch today on [email protected] or call our friendly team on 07555 712919.