How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How much do you charge?” This is a tricky question because there are so many aspects to investigations.  When you call around for quotes from local private investigators here in California, on average you can expect to be quoted anywhere from $60-$120 per hour.  Each company has pricing equivalent to their experience, equipment they utilize, and skill level.  For example, while one company may only charge $60 per hour, they may require more hours to complete an investigation which could potentially end up costing you more overall.  The more experienced investigators may charge more but may be able to get the job done sooner or can produce a more thorough result for their clients.

Some investigation companies only utilize a single database for the queries and others maintain multiple databases.  Some investigators have law enforcement background, and some entered the field in other ways.  Some investigators have prior business experience, and some do not.  Some investigators work alone, and some have teams of investigators to spread the workload.  All of these criteria play a role in determining pricing structure as do the specifics of each case.  Every case is different, and some are much more complex than others.

It is always advisable to personally meet with a few investigators and take advantage of a free consultation to determine the most accurate pricing (if they do not offer a free consultation, look elsewhere).  A couple pieces of advice – Don’t be tempted to go with the cheapest quote, unless you feel confident that they can get your investigation handled properly and timely.  Be cautious of anyone who quotes a basic rate over the phone without knowing the specifics of your investigation.  Also be cautious of anyone who makes promises of any outcome.

Lastly, cost may be important to you and it is to most people, but equally important is finding an investigator who you connect with and one who shows compassion for your situation.  You will communicate frequently with your investigator and you need to feel comfortable with them.

Take us up on our offer for a free consultation to see if we can help with your case.  If we can’t help you we will most likely be able to direct you to an investigator that can.

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