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.
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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 email@example.com