Although this is a very difficult question to answer, here are some general guidelines to understand.
- Hourly Fees – Hiring a private investigator is much like hiring a lawyer or accountant. Hourly rates are the most common arrangement. A professional service provider gets paid an agreed-upon hourly rate for the hours worked and within an agreed budget.
- Flat Fee – Some matters are more simple and well defined and may be charged based on a flat fee.
- Expenses – Certain expenses may be charged to the client. The most common are travel and mileage.
Rates vary depending on location, specialty or the complexity of the case. Beware of comparing one investigator with another on the basis of fees alone. A lower priced, inexperienced investigator may take twice as long to complete a task. Also, be wary of the investigator who guarantees results.