How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost?

How Much Is a Private Investigator?

Many clients seeking these services do not understand the costs associated with hiring a private investigator. With that said, many attempt to search the cost through a known search engine, call the first company that comes up and may be easily deterred. We here at Mayhem Solutions Group tailor each investigation and cost for the Clients issue, their budget and the results they seek. Whether your requirements are nationally or extend internationally, the costs may vary. On average, the cost for a private investigator ranges (both national and internationally) from $50-$200 per hour. This of course depends on the investigative needs, demographics, services, experience and training. For example, a private investigator in Denmark will cost more than a private investigator in Seattle, WA. They both perform the same duties, but the investigator in Denmark may be harder to find for a Client (as our relationships internationally take years to develop) and the dollar in Denmark may be worth less. Seattle is saturated with investigators driving the cost down, and there may not be any additional costs.

Hourly Vs. Retainer

In most cases Clients may be quoted a retainer amount, due to an investigation requiring a sum of money to bill against. Most retainers placed on file are non-refundable down payments due to the agreement between the investigator and Client for future work to be performed. A flat hourly rate is typically billed to law firms, insurance agencies and other private investigators. In the event that the hourly rate is billed to a Client, the Client should be informed due to the hourly rate covering travel time, report writing and the additional fees associated such as the IRS mandated mileage rate.

Additional Fees and Expenses

For both retainer based and hourly rates, Clients should be informed when it comes to additional costs associated with hiring a private investigator. Many investigators bill for report writing, photograph fees, travel time (to and from location of service), mileage and additional expenses such as parking and other expenses for the investigator to blend in (restaurants etc.). In some cases the investigator may have to travel out of town, incurring expenses for hotels and flight travel. Database usage can be billed to the Client as well for OSINT research.

Types of Investigations and Rough Cost

  • Background Investigations depending on the data sought and report writing involved. $250-$1,500
  • Surveillance Services as the service can range from an infidelity suspicion to a family court matter. $500-$10,000+
  • Person Locate considering that the person is national, it may be easier to locate them. If the locate is stretched internationally, the investigator may have to coordinate efforts with colleagues. $300-$1,200
  • Adoptions could be either open or closed. Closed adoptions could make the investigation more difficult as records are not open to the public. $500-$4000

Mayhem Solutions group provides a wide range of investigation types. For a more accurate quote, we recommend reaching out to one of our investigators in house to discuss your case and tailor an investigation to fit your needs.