2019 Quick Guide to Private Investigator Costs in the UK


Private Investigator fees can vary dramatically so it is worth shopping around to find a company that you trust, not necessarily the cheapest quote you get. Remember that you are paying for time and experience and often an experienced investigator will charge more per hour but get the job done in less time. Also be aware of an “extra” fees such as mileage and on job expenses. At Rapid our Private Investigator fees are in most circumstances fully inclusive.

  • Surveillance fees are typically from £45 per hour although they can range at the extremes from £20 per hour up to £150 per hour.          Our price £55.00 per hour,  covert from £75.00 Per hour
  • Tracing people will typically cost around £75 to £350    Our price £220
  • Background Checks are usually £55-£95 per hour, depending on the complexity. Rapid PI will carry out multiple agency checks methodicaly        Our Price £95
  • Vehicle Tracking Costs are typically around £150 - £250 per day Rapid prices are all inclusive prices. We also offer long term discount             Our price from £100 per day


Private Investigator Price List

You should be aware that the following figures are simply guidelines as to what you might expect to pay when engaging a Private Investigator and every firm and every case will be different. 

Surveillance fees vary dependent upon the complexity and location of an investigation, in some circumstances, it will require a two (or more) person team, depending on what type of surveillance is required. Most professional firms will assign you a dedicated case manager who will be able to advise you on the most cost-effective solution to bring an investigation to its best possible result, using technology as well as manpower to gather the evidence you need. Typical surveillance rates start from £45 per hour with a number of firms having a minimum number of hours (typically 4-6) as it is generally unlikely that they will be able to collect the evidence in less time than that, together with the fact that there is a certain about of pre-operations planning required.
For that fee you should expect to receive a written report and photographic or video footage where applicable or logistically legally possible to confirm the work has been undertaken and to demonstrate to you the outcome. On top of this, you may have to pay mileage expenses and some other minor disbursements. 
Tracing people can be a straightforward affair or at times an immensely complex process. If you are looking for someone with whom you have lost contact then you might expect to pay less than if you are trying to trace someone who has ‘disappeared’ as they don’t want to be found.
Prices will also vary considerably depending on whether the person you are trying to trace is in the UK or abroad; generally speaking the further away they are the more expensive it becomes.
Most firms will operate on a fixed fee for relatively simple cases and prices can start from £75 although nearly all firms will refuse to carry out a ‘no trace no fee’ service as they need to be paid for the time they invest in the case.   

Carrying out professional background checks is becoming more important these days and many firms and individuals find the need to do this to protect themselves against future issues.
Straightforward checks on Companies and services such as asset tracing generally started at £200 and went upwards from there depending on the size and complexity of the task.
GPS TrackingFrom £300 – £800 Fixed

There are several devices that can be deployed dependent upon circumstances and legalities and any competent firm will be able to advise on this for you. Those we spoke to typically had two rates, one for historical tracking and the other for live tracking. Prices for these vary from £200- £400 for historical tracking and £500-£750 for live tracking although all firms were at pains to point out that these prices were a starting point only and fees would go up the longer the time required to complete the job.  Our charges start at £200.00.
Most reputable investigators will only quote for assignments that can be completed legally within the UK. 
Other services included;
Court Attendance, Infringement of Patent & Copyright, Investigation into Internal Theft and Pilfering, Commercial Intelligence, Due Diligence Reports, Hire of Electronic Equipment, Professional Witnesses, Insurance Fraud Investigations, Competitor Profiling, Electronic Surveillance, De-Bugging, Employee Absenteeism, Vehicle/Equipment Repossessions, Covert CCTV and Polygraph Testing.
Naturally, prices for all of these services varied dramatically but in every case, there was an element of hourly rate built into the charging structure mainly in the range of £55 to £95 per hour.