What does a private investigator cost? Well, that is a good question. Private investigation in Australia is a relatively small industry, albeit a competitive one.
There are quite a few single operators appearing to be bigger than they are, and a few dodgy operators as well. All private investigators need to be licensed in their relative states and this can normally be checked fairly easily – ask for their licence number and check with the authorities in your state.
So the costof a private investigator – how does it work? There are a number of different services we offer and each service can vary in cost depending on the hours and expertise required. And to make things more difficult, most investigations don’t come with a fixed fee because we often don’t know how long it will take to get the answers required……. I’m sure that makes sense if you think about it logically.
For example, many investigations nowadays are solved by using surveillance (following the target) because this is one of the few legal avenues we now have. Surveillance is charged at an hourly rate – not ‘per investigation’. Unless you know exactly the amount of hours you need then it is just a time based exercise until the results come your way. Surveillance is charged at an hourly rate of $125 per agent on the job. Some jobs require 2 and even more agents and the costs rise accordingly. It is difficult to predict the average expenditure for a surveillance job but we would suggest somewhere between $1500 and $3000 would be quite normal. Plenty of assignments come in less, and plenty go over this average as well. We have solved problems for as little as $500, and some clients have spent in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One of our specialties is locating people – like a missing persons investigation. This includes ‘find my family’ scenarios as well as looking for debtors, work colleagues and business people you have dealt with before, and anyone else you may be looking for. While it is hard to give an exact price for this service most assignments are solved for $800 – and only $400 is required in advance with the remaining $400 payable only when we locate the person.
If more of a factual investigation is required, we may send an agent out into the field asking questions of people, canvassing for witnesses, interviewing associated persons etc. All field work that isn’t surveillance comes in at a higher hourly rate of $220.
And then there is everything we do as licensed private detectives. From missing persons, to background checks, to general database inquiries, mobile phone and computer forensics, electronic bug sweeps …….. the list is never ending. In these situations we have to have a chat about the circumstances of the problem and then we can ascertain how much it may cost to investigate. You may be pleasantly surprised that many investigations may be cheaper than you would imagine. Give us a call and we are only too happy to advise.