integral investigations


How much does a private investigator cost?

how much does a private investigator cost


How much does a private investigator cost?

How much does a private investigator cost? Well, that is a very common question we get. Private investigation in Australia is a fairly small industry sector, although it is a competitive one. There are a number of single operators appearing to be larger than they actually are, and a few rogue and unscrupulous operators as well. All private investigators need to be licensed in their relative states and this can be confirmed easily – ask for their license details and check with the particular authorities in your state. (For example in NSW you can go to the licensing authority which is the NSW Police and verify a private investigator’s licence by entering the licence number by following this link  It is a legal requirement for a private investigator to display their licence number on their website so if there is no licence number, steer away from that mob!)  Our NSW Master Licence No is clearly displayed on all pages within our website. 

So how much does a private investigator cost …….. there are a number of different services we offer and each product can vary in cost depending on the number of hours, and expertise required. And to make things more unknown, most investigations don’t come with a fixed charge because we don’t know how long it will take to get the answers required……. think about it logically – it makes total sense.

The key services relating to how much does a private investigator cost

Many investigations today are solved by carrying out visual surveillance (following the subject) because this is one of the few legal directions we now have. Surveillance is costed at an hourly rate – not ‘per investigation’. It is just a time based exercise until the results come your way, although some clients do have an exact time-frame that they need a private detective so they can work out exactly what it will cost. Surveillance is charged at an hourly rate of $125 +GST per operative required on the job. Some jobs require two and even more operatives and the costs rise accordingly. It is difficult to predict the typical outlay for a surveillance assignment but we would suggest somewhere in the vicinity of $1500 and $3000 would be quite normal. Many assignments come in at a lesser charge, and plenty go over this average as well.

We have resolved problems for as little as $550, and some clients have spent well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may only need 6 hours one evening to find out what a partner is doing after work, or you might need three weeks around the clock for a sensitive family law matter. You might be a corporation suffering from internal theft which requires lengthy observations, or an employer who has an employee off work for an injury matter and you may need some time on that worker to confirm the veracity of their injury. As you can see, the length of time in some of these examples is unknown which is why it can be hard to work out your budget and how much does a private investigator cost by the end of the investigation. 

If more of a factual investigation is required, we may send a field operative out into the word asking questions of people, canvassing for witnesses, interviewing connected persons etc. All fieldwork that isn’t ‘surveillance’ comes in at a higher hourly rate of $275. A senior private investigator working on a serious fraud matter can cost as much as $330 per hour, but that cost is worth it. 

And then there is everything else that we do as licensed private investigators. From background checks to general database inquiries, to missing persons, to computer and mobile phone forensics, electronic bug sweeps …….. the list is continual, and some assignments can be hard to classify. In these situations we really have to have a conversation about the circumstances of the issue and then we can work out how much it may cost to investigate the situation you are encountering. You may be agreeably surprised that many investigations may be less expensive than you would have imagined. Many desktop investigations only cost in the hundreds and not necessarily thousands. To get an idea of how much does a private investigator cost for your particular case, give us a call and we are only too happy to advise further. That’s what we do.

Find a Trusted Private Investigator

Should you wish to contact us here at Integral Investigations in Sydney or Brisbane, Tweed and the Gold Coast, please feel free to call us on 02 9460 4988, mobile on 0411 853 111 or email us directly at


18 thoughts on “How much does a private investigator cost?”

  1. Hey, i’d like to know your prices for an investigation about my girlfriend. I’m back in France and she is in Sydney for 1 or 2 months more, please let me know if an interview is possible asap.



    1. Thomas,

      Surveillance based investigations are just charged at an hourly rate of $125. This is all inclusive of taxes, mileage, travel time, regular updates and photographs. It is up to you to give us an idea of her routine, and the times and days you would like her watched.

      Feel free to call us at any time on +61 411 853 111 but we do find that jobs originating from Europe it can be difficult to talk. Email would be best at and we can sort this assignment out for you.

  2. I have been chasing my ex for a paternity test for 3 years he keeps saying yeah I’ll do it then tells me to don’t msg him I have no address or number for him only have had to use Messanger to contact him it it my child’s right to know her identitie by law it’s her right but with no last known addresses or phone number I can file anything through a court please help how much would this cost

    1. The cost is pretty straightforward. To locate a person we charge an upfront fee of $400 to take the job on. This amount is not refundable. If we can’t locate the person there is nothing further to pay and our costs have been covered by the $400. If we do find an address then we charge an additional $400 as a ‘success fee’ and then give you the details. We get about 8 out of 10 for this costing scenario. Sometimes the direction of investigation can change and we have to talk about options and other potential costs but this is unusual. Time frame is normally one to two weeks although there are times when it is quicker, and times when it is longer.

      If you have any further questions or wish to proceed just drop me a line by email at

      Integral Investigations

  3. Hey guys could you tell me how much it would cost me to find out if my wife is cheating on me or lieing to me about her been on this site called “POF. COM”iv been given info of a profile on this site and would like to know if 1. She has lied to me about it being her running it or if she has/is being cheating on me cheers Andrew

    1. integralinvestigations


      Most infidelity based private investigations are charged at an hourly rate of $125. This includes GST, travel time, mileage, pictures and regular updates. There are no hidden charges at the end. We will need more information from you to work out whether the investigation will be surveillance based, or whether we can do some research around the website. If you would like to contact our Sydney office directly on 02 9460 4988 or email us at we’ll be able to advise further.

      The Integral Team

  4. HI,

    My Brother is mixing with the wrong crowd, he has moved out of home and he is staying with friends who are a bad influence we have no Idea of his living location and whereabouts. My mum and Dad try many times to communicate with him but he never replies. I was wondering if private investigators could locate him by his phone number or full name.

    1. integralinvestigations

      Hi Maya,

      Private investigators do not have the technology to locate someone by pinging their phone. However we locate people every day using other methods such as database searches and surveillance. We usually start with database checks at a cost of $400 and if that fails we step over to surveillance and field work. If we are successful with the database investigation you pay another $400 as a ‘success fee’ and you have your answer for $800 in total. If we move over to field work it is charged at an hourly rate of $125 and it is impossible to say how long it may take. The result of an investigation depends on the quality of the information you can provide us to start with.

      If this is something you would like to get started with, just email us directly at and we can assist further.

  5. Hi How much would it cost to find my friends half siblings and I have limited info as they were adopted out at a young I am trying to surprise him of their whereabouts

    1. integralinvestigations

      Hi John,

      The cost of locating a person depends on the quality of the information you can provide us in the first place. So if you don’t have a current name we are very little chance. Also, females can be harder to track because they are likely to have been married in the mean time and the names we are supplied by you might not be relevant now. So before a private investigator can quote on locating children that have been adopted out, we have to have a look at the information you can start us with.

      Can you please forward the information you do have to our Managing Director at and he will look over it and assess it for you.

      The Integral Team

    1. integralinvestigations

      Hi Coral,

      This sounds like a fairly straightforward request. Surveillance is just charged by the hour and it is up to you to give us an idea of the hours and days that you want us on the job. The cost is based on an hourly rate of $125 and a 4 hour minimum ($500) applies each time we leave the office. Your request for just a few hours surveillance will fit into this 4 hour minimum perfectly so you can be quite confident that the cost will be $500 all-up. Our hourly rate may be a little higher than most companies but our hourly rate INCLUDES EVERYTHING such as GST, mileage, travel time to and from the job, video, report and regular field updates if required – so it is just a flat rate with no hidden extras at the end. As an example one of our competitors advertises and hourly rate of $80 on his website, but a ‘4 hour package’ is $550, which is 10% higher than our 4 hour package. So whilst our quoted hourly rate sounds high by comparison you can see that we do in fact come in cheaper with the ‘all-inclusive’ charging.

      To get started we need to know the schedule of hours you want to book, and some identifying points of the subject such as photo or description, car details and an address to start from. The rest is up to us. Payment is required in advance so if you book 4 hours we need $500, 10 hours is $1250 and 40 hours is $5000. We can accept credit card or can supply our bank account details for you to make an EFT or cash deposit at a nearby branch.

      If you have any further questions or would like to organise a surveillance period please just get back to us at at any time.

      The Integral Team

  6. Although not directly to myself, I have a very close friend and I am worried that her boyfriend is cheating on her.
    What is the suggested method for this? I assume may take some times around 30-40 hours, since we don’t know this guy’s work schedule or schedule after work.

    1. integralinvestigations

      Hi there Cody,

      We have responded to your email directly, but confirming that we just charge for each hour you need us to do. We ask the client to nominate the hours they think they might require and then we lock in a surveillance investigation for you. We are quite flexible and can change the days and times accordingly if we learn things during the investigation that warrant an update of the schedule.

      Our hourly rate is charged at $125 per hour. There is a 4 hour minimum each period chosen. Unlike most other private investigators, our rate are all-inclusive of GST, mileage, travel time to and from the starting point, updates and photos. There are no hidden extras. As an example one of our competitors advertises the low hourly rate of $80, but deeper in their website you find out that the 4 hour minimum period is charged at $550. This is because the $80 per hour does not include all of these other unknown costs. Our 4 hour minimum is just $500 because it is all-inclusive.

      Feel free to email us directly at if you have any further questions.

  7. Hi there,
    I am needing to find out about my ex partners hidden assets in regards to a child support case and him not declaring all income from a house sold and a farm purchased, and I have reason to believe he is hiding joint assets in his wife’s name.
    He was also involved in an embezzlement matter with a surf life saving club as treasurer.
    Is there any way you can find proof of these for me?
    Regards Kim

    1. integralinvestigations


      Unfortunately private investigators have limitations here because we don’t get access to bank accounts or personal financial records as such. We are pretty much limited to property and to major shareholdings. So typically we would search a personal name to see if they have any companies, and then we search the companies and the personal name for property. Each state charges separately for property searches but if you budgeted around $125 for each name for each state you’d have a rough total on what you may spend. We can also search by address. So you query with regards to the house and the farm will be sorted out in these searches, but ‘hidden’ assets often remain hidden because we have to work within Australian privacy laws, and a private investigator isn’t a bypass of those laws.

      But like any investigation, we do not know what we will find until we carry out the investigation,. Sometimes the information we find is invaluable, and sometimes nothing new is learnt that you didn’t already know. So you have to take a bit of a chance on the outcome an an investigation.

      If you have any further questions, or would like to get started, just email us directly at and we’ll help you out.

      The Integral Team

  8. Hi
    I would like to gather evidence of my ex husband working & earning cash illegally only so he cant declare cash earnings to reduce child support to next to nothing. Example; he earns on some jobs 5k in 1 month but has declared he has only earned 8k a year to pay almost nothing, he has also moved state & i have no address details or who he works for.

    Is this something you can assist with & what would be the cost

    Thank you

    1. integralinvestigations

      Hi Emma

      This sort of investigation is usually solved by having the person followed and gather intel that they are working regular hours. Surveillance is just charged at an hourly rate of $125. This rate appears to more expensive than our competitors however it is a flat rate all-inclusive of costs. So the rate includes mileage, travel time to and from the job, pictures and regular updates. As an example, our major competitor advertises a much cheaper rate of $80 per hour. Then they add their costs. You don’t know what these costs will be until they provide the account. Further into their website they point out that they have a 4 hour package for $750, so somehow $80 per hour ends up being $750 for 4 hours once the costs are added. Our 4 hour period is $500 because everything is included already – you don’t have to worry about the added costs because there are none. The only added costs we have are any out-of-pocket expenses such as a parking ticket, or club entry. Of course GST applies.

      So your next step is working out when you think you might need the surveillance. Some clients have definitive period such as Friday night at 6pm til midnight so they know it will cost them $750. Other clients don’t have an exact timeframe in mind so might do Monday to Friday from 8am in the morning until the person comes home, so it can be a bit harder to pick for them. But ultimately timing is up to you, and we’ll be there for you.

      IF you don’t know where he is living at this time, we have to go about locating an address before we can commence the above surveillance investigation. The cost to locate a person works like this. We charge an upfront fee of $400 to take the job on. This amount is non-refundable. We then commence our searches and if we can’t find the person then there is nothing further to pay. If and when we do find them, we then charge you an additional $600 ‘success fee’ and then we give you the results. You only pay the 2nd $600 if we locate a guaranteed address for them so it is a results-based investigation. Our success rate in these investigations is probably about 80% for the $400+$600 scenario.

      Payment is required in advance for at least the hours you book. We accept credit card, PayPal or cash deposit or EFT to our company account.

      If you would like to move forward with a surveillance period, or if you have any further questions just come back to me by return email at any time.

      The Integral Team.

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