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The cost of hiring a private investigator is dependent on many factors. With prices from different sources often varying wildly, to fully explain the costs of a highly-rated private investigation service, it’s first necessary to understand the services they offer. 

The following provides a comprehensive explanation of the industry, why such a service might be needed, and advice on how individuals and businesses can successfully utilize the expertise of a private investigator.

  • What Does a Private Investigator Do?
  • How Much Does A Private Investigator Cost? Retainers
  • How Much Does A Private Investigator Cost? Hourly rate vs. fixed rate
  • Factors That Influence the Cost of a Private Investigator

What Does a Private Investigator Do?

Private investigators carry out many roles. They might gather evidence for court cases, conduct surveillance, verify information, or locate missing persons. The best private investigators are experts at collating research. Indeed, many specialize in a particular field, such as corporate areas (copyright infringement, computer forensics, fraud, etc.), accident investigation, or espionage.

High performing private investigators have in-depth legal knowledge, as any evidence they gather is often used in a court of law. Some are licensed to carry firearms, many have intimate knowledge of technology and utilize cutting edge equipment, and most have excellent interpersonal skills.

How Much Does A Private Investigator Cost? Retainers

It’s common for private investigators to charge what’s known as a “retainer” —an upfront payment much like a deposit for services to be carried out. Your needs and the particular task will determine the amount, against which your mounting costs will be offset. Funds that are not utilized should be refunded when the task is complete.

How Much Does A Private Investigator Cost: Hourly rate vs. fixed rate 

The type of service required will usually determine whether the task can be carried out on a  fixed rate or hourly basis. Simple tasks are usually charged at a flat rate, including: 

  • Criminal record searches
  •  Vehicle registration searches
  •  Background checks
  • Phone number identification
  • Court document retrieval

More complex tasks, such as infidelity cases, the location of missing persons, and anything that requires surveillance and/or further in-depth research is likely to be charged by the hour. Typical rates can vary from $40 to $200 per hour, depending on the task and expertise of the private investigator.

Factors That Influence the Cost of a Private Investigator 

Multiple factors can influence how much a private investigator will cost.

  • Expertise and experience: Similarly to most professions, those with the most experience command the highest rates. Those with particular skills, such as having a background in law enforcement or the intelligence service, are particularly sought after. Such individuals are likely to cost more to hire than someone new to the business.
  • Travel: If the service requires the investigator to travel, the cost will normally be charged back to you. This could include mileage, gas, parking, public transportation charges, accommodation, and more.
  • Miscellaneous fees: These could include communication charges, postage, court dues, etc. If any specialized equipment is needed, this will also increase the overall cost. Be sure that you understand exactly what’s included and what warrants extra expenses before you commit to hiring your preferred private investigator.
  • Risk: Investigations that require the investigator to be subjected to potentially risky situations will command higher fees.
  • Large scale tasks: If an investigation requires more than one person, the cost will rise in accordance with how many experts are assigned to the case.

How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost? Fast Guard’s professional service 

Industry-leading security company, Fast Guard Service, provides a comprehensive service for all private investigation needs. Available for both private citizens and businesses, their private investigators are highly experienced individuals with backgrounds conducive to their particular field. 

Such expertise ensures results in the shortest time possible. Fast Guard’s private investigation service provides real peace of mind that your case is in expert hands. In addition, a clear pricing structure means your private investigation cost is explained from the outset.  

To discover how to hire a private investigator to suit your needs, visit //fastguardservice.com for a free no-obligation quote