Several factors affect how much a private investigator charges. Before beginning a case, a private detective will generally require a retainer, which can be anywhere from $500 to $10,000. This retainer is used to cover the cost of the investigator’s time, travel expenses, and related services. In some cases, the private detective will retain the amount, while others will refund it. To determine whether a private investigator will keep the retainer, ask about their refund policy and the duration of the project.
One of the best ways to determine how much a private detective charges is to ask for a list of fees and project details. The fees may vary, but a standardized record search can cost anywhere from $20 to $200. Some agencies charge a daily rate for GPS monitoring, which may cost $50-$75 per day and require a three or seven-day minimum. Other fees, such as pre-employment background checks, will be billed at a flat fee of $25.
The amount an investigator charges will depend on several factors. One of them is their geographic location. The cost of living in a large city will increase the investigator’s hourly rate. In addition, an investigator will have higher overhead in large cities and international locations. A private investigator’s hourly rate will likely be higher in a rural area than in a large city. This factor can make a difference in the final cost of a case.