Cost of Private Investigator

How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
People often have a variety of questions about the services private investigators provide. In many instances, those questions relate to an investigator’s role in gathering evidence or uncovering hidden information. However, there is one question that probably gets asked more than any other: how much does a private investigator cost? After all, investigations take time and resources, and those things cost money. If you need an investigation and are wondering about the cost for a private investigator, this article is for you.

How Much Are Private Investigators?

Like most services, the cost of hiring private investigators is determined by a variety of factors. Below, we examine just some of the many variables that can determine what private investigators cost. Keep in mind that there may be any number of other factors involved in determining the actual price for private investigation services in your area. Always do your due diligence to ensure that you understand the full costs involved in any private investigation before you commit to hiring an investigator.

Factors Involved in Private Investigator Cost: Retainers, Hourly Fees, and Flat-Rate Costs

First, it’s important to note that you may have a variety of hiring options, depending on the investigator. In some cases, investigators will require a retainer fee at the beginning of the investigative process. That fee is typically considered a deposit and may be used to help cover expenses in the initial stages of the relationship.

Nearly all private investigators offer some sort of hourly rate for investigations that require in-depth evidence-gathering or surveillance. Those rates can range from as little as $50 an hour to several hundred dollars per hour, depending on the type of investigation and the jurisdiction. Different studies have produced different average rates across the U.S.

Finally, flat rate prices are often available for specific types of investigation services. These can include relatively routine investigations like document retrieval, locating a missing person, conducting background checks, and similar activities. Be sure to discuss available fee options before you hire a private investigation firm.

The Investigator’s Level of Expertise

Obviously, the investigator’s level of expertise is an important factor when it comes to cost. As a rule, experienced, proven investigators are likely to cost more money than untested professionals. Moreover, you are also likely to pay more for investigators who have a background in law enforcement or intelligence. At the same time, however, those experienced experts are usually more likely to get the results you need.

The Complexity of the Case

The more complex your case is, the more it is likely to cost. Simple investigations can typically be handled with far less effort than more complication concerns. For example, if you are simply trying to get in touch with a loved one who’s moved away, that’s going to be a far less costly endeavor than hiring an investigator to gather evidence for a court case.

Resources Needed to Solve the Case

No two cases are exactly alike. As a result, each case requires the investigator to expend different types of resources. In some instances, your investigator may need to pay search fees to obtain database information. In others, he or she may need to utilize human networks to retrieve information. Investigations that require evidence gathering may entail costs for surveillance, in-person interviews, or other common investigative tools and tactics.

Expenses, Including Travel

There are always expenses associated with hiring a private investigator. How much that costs can depend upon the nature of the case and the jurisdiction where the investigation takes place. Some common expenses can include court fees, communication charges, supplies, mileage and gas expenditures, hotel fees when travel is required, and other related costs.

Other Factors Impacting the Cost for Private Investigators

Obviously, those are just some of the many factors that can determine the price for a private investigation. More complex matters may require multiple investigators and/or support personnel to get the results you need. Some investigations may involve certain risks, and those risks may increase the cost. If investigators need to acquire or utilize specialized equipment, that too can add to the cost.

How Much Does a Private Investigator Cost in NYC?

As you might expect, there’s another major factor that can determine cost: geographic area and market differences. The fact is that services can cost more in large cities than in smaller towns or rural areas. That’s due to increased costs for everything from office space to licensing, regulatory compliance, transportation, and more. So, that raises another question: how much does it cost for a private investigator in a city like New York?

Obviously, a city as large as New York City is going to offer a wide range of pricing options. Again, these services are going to be priced based on many different factors, with some smaller, less-experienced companies charging less than more established, proven investigators. As a result, you can find some investigators’ advertising rates that are less than $100 per hour. As with anything in life, the quality of the services will always play a huge role in any price determination.

What You Can Expect with International Security Services

Like most quality investigative firms, International Security Services strives to provide clients with the services they need at competitive prices. That’s why we work with every client to determine the best investigative strategy to get the answers and results they need. We’ll talk you through your investigation options, and make sure that you understand the costs up-front.

Obviously, New York City’s higher cost of living means that even private investigations can cost more here than elsewhere in the country. It is critically important for you to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth when you hire any investigative company. Thankfully, the private investigators at ISS have the expertise and experience you need to get the most investigative bang for your buck. When you want quality investigations that produce reliable results, there’s only one investigator to trust: International Security Services – New York City’s dedicated security experts and private investigation professionals.

George Kozhar

George Kozhar

George Kozhar is a respected security professional, licensed private investigator, and founder of International Security Services (ISS) - New York City’s dedicated security experts since 1999. Mr. Kozhar and his team provide a full array of private and business investigative services in the U.S. and overseas, VIP executive protection, armed and unarmed security guard services and training, and Fire and Life Safety Director training through the company’s Fire Science Institute.