How much does a private investigator cost?

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How much does it cost to use a Private Investigator in 2024?

When considering the services and cost of hiring a private investigator, it's natural for individuals to inquire about the potential costs upfront. This is a reasonable concern, as private investigations are not standard products with fixed prices. Each investigation is unique, and as such, it's rare for investigators to offer a standard flat rate.

Private Investigator costs start from £29.50 per hour and increases depending on the level of service. In today's economic climate, where costs are continually on the rise, it's crucial to engage in a transparent discussion about expenses with your chosen individual or company. Accurate cost estimations are essential for the success of an investigation in 2024. At UKPI, we don't compromise on quality to cut costs. Instead, we collaborate with our clients, aligning our services with their budgets to deliver the desired outcomes.

Ultimately, the total cost will vary depending on the specific nature of the investigation required. We recommend a free initial consultation as an effective way to determine whether hiring a private investigator aligns with your needs and circumstances.

The Role of a Private Investigator

Private investigators—professionals hired to gather intelligence and probe into diverse issues. With strategies ranging from observation to research, they produce discreet and impactful results for clients. Be it finding people, fraud allegations, or catching a cheating partner, their offerings cover an extensive range of services.


Find a Person

Use our service to find a person that you cannot find yourself.

Find a Person

Tracing Debtors

Find someone who owes you money with our specialist debtor tracing service.

Tracing Debtors

Relationship Investigations

Obtain undeniable evidence that your partner is cheating with our specialist cheating investigations.

Relationship Investigations

Discreet Surveillance

Our discreet surveillance service will provide irrefutable evidence, no matter what the case.

Discreet Surveillance

Due Diligence

Ensure you know precisely who you are entering into any business relationship with.

Due Diligence

Process Serving

Experienced & efficient fixed price process servers.

Process Serving

Background Checks

Know exactly who that person is, despite what they may be telling you.

Background Checks

Dating Site Scams

Take steps to protect yourself against romance scams.

Dating Site Scams

Insurance Claim Investigations

Fraudulent insurance claims are a growing problem throughout the UK.

Insurance Claim Investigations

Data Retrieval

Get important information that could help you, but isn't accessible to you.

Data Retrieval

Pre-Marital Investigations

Discreet Pre-Marital investigations conducted by our specialists - globally

Pre-Marital Investigations

Many Other Services

We offer many other services - contact us with your requirements

Many Other Services

How much does a private investigator costs?

Understanding the Fees and Prices

Knowing private investigator costs of hiring this type of service is crucial. In 2024, the fees for private investigation services depend on factors such as the type of service, duration, and resources required. Most PI's offer free initial consultations to discuss expectations and provide a clear understanding of the costs involved.

Typically, a private detective charges an hourly rate, which can range from £30 to £85. On average, you can expect to pay around £50 to £55 per hour. Some investigators may also offer fixed fees for specific hours to ensure the success of your investigation, but in other cases, perhaps when there's vehicle tracking involved, costs may be arranged in a more bespoke fashion. It's important to communicate your billing preferences during the early stages of hiring a private investigator.

While the hourly rates may seem high, it is worth considering the experience and expertise of the investigator. Hiring an experienced investigator, which has specialist services such as vehicle tracking, fraud, asset tracing, missing persons, bacground checks, bug sweeping can lead to greater efficiency and quality in the investigation, potentially saving you time and money in the long run. It's important to remember that opting for cheaper options may result in subpar results and higher overall costs.

At UKPI, we prioritise transparency in our pricing structure. We have no hidden charges on any of our investigator costs and strive to provide you with the most cost-effective solution for your specific needs. Speak with us today to discuss your requirements and get a clear understanding of the costs involved.

Talk to Us [FREE PHONE]: 0800 043 1754

Summary Table of the Costs of Private Investigator

Service Details Price
SURVEILLANCE COSTS Our surveillance rates can vary depending on the individual specific requirements. All rates include photographic footage, reports and video evidence where required and are discussed with you before surveillance begins. Our rates are very competitive. Fees start from £ 29.50 per hour, based on a ten hour session. From £29.50 per hour
PROCESS SERVICE £ between £ 75.00 and £ 175.00 – Fixed fee which now includes mileage, travel time, 3 attempts of service, sworn affidavit or statement of service and return delivery within 48 hours as per standard terms and conditions. From £75.00
SPECIALIST PEOPLE TRACE COSTS £ Please contact us (depending on circumstances and location) From £POA
TRACE A PERSON / ADDRESS £ from as little as £ 25.00 (BULK trace instructions) – Please contact us for details – Fixed Fee and a fast completion time with guaranteed results. From £25.00
GENERAL INVESTIGATION Rate: £ 35 – 45 per hour – (please contact us to discuss) From £35.00 per hour
FIND A PERSON FROM A TELEPHONE NUMBER £ From as little as £ 44.25. From £44.25
FINANCIAL INVESTIGATIONS UK Asset Search £ from £375.00 – costs vary on details required/provided by client – Please contact us From £275.00 Costs vary on details
BACKGROUND CHECKS COSTS £ from as little as £ 175.00 From £175.00 per check
ENQUIRY AGENT SERVICES Door Knocks and Verbal Enquiries £ from 35 per hour – Please contact us with your requirements From £35.00 per hour
IN OR OUT OF OFFICE MEETING RATE £ 65.00 per hour. ALL enquires and consultations via email/telephone are free. £65.00 per hour
DE-BUGGING / COUNTER-SURVEILLANCE SWEEP from £ Request a bespoke quote for further details From £POA

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?

The cost of hiring a private investigator varies depending on the type of investigation required and the amount of time and resources needed to complete it. Typically, private investigators charge an hourly rate ranging from £30 to £200 per hour.

However, some investigations may require a flat fee, and others may require additional expenses such as travel costs, equipment fees, and court fees. Servuces sycg as matrimonial surveillance may require custom and bespoke investigator costs depending on the complexity. Therefore it is essential to discuss all the costs upfront with your investigator before hiring them to avoid any unexpected charges.

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What does a private investigator do?


Conduct surveillance

Private investigators can monitor people and places to collect information on activities and behaviour.

Background checks

Private investigators can provide a detailed report on individuals to gather information about their history, employment, education, financial status, and criminal records.

Locate missing persons

Private investigators can help to locate missing persons by conducting searches, interviewing people, and using databases.

Investigate insurance fraud

Private investigators can help insurance companies to investigate fraudulent claims by collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and conducting surveillance.

Conduct corporate investigations

Private investigators can investigate corporate fraud, embezzlement, and misconduct by conducting forensic accounting, background checks, and surveillance.

Private Investigator Costs

Low cost and effective - everytime!

  • The cost of a private investigator in the UK can vary depending on several factors such as the complexity of the case, the location, and the specific services required. Generally, private investigators charge an hourly rate ranging from £40 to £100, but it is advisable to contact a few local agencies and discuss your case to get an accurate estimate.

  • Hiring a private investigator can be worth it in certain situations. They have the skills, experience, and resources to uncover information and conduct investigations that may not be accessible to the general public. Whether it's for personal or professional reasons, if you require reliable and discreet information, hiring a private investigator can provide valuable assistance.

  • No, it is not illegal to hire a private investigator in the UK. Private investigators operate within the boundaries of the law and must adhere to legal and ethical standards in their work. However, it is important to ensure that you hire a licensed and reputable investigator who follows the proper procedures and safeguards your privacy rights.

  • The cost of hiring a private investigator can vary depending on several factors such as the location, the complexity of the case, and the specific services required. Private investigators typically charge by the hour, and the rates can range from around £40 to £100 per hour. It is advisable to contact a few different investigators, discuss your case, and obtain a detailed quote specific to your needs in order to get an accurate estimate.

  • While private investigators can conduct various legal investigations, there are certain activities they cannot engage in. In the UK, private investigators cannot:

    - Trespass on private property without permission.
    - Access someone's personal records, such as medical or financial information, without proper authorization or consent.
    - Intercept communications (phone calls, emails, etc.) without lawful authority.
    - Pose as a law enforcement officer or misrepresent their identity.
    - Commit any illegal activities or engage in behavior that violates a person's rights.

  • Hiring a private investigator is not considered harassment in itself, as long as the investigator follows legal and ethical guidelines while conducting their work. Private investigators must adhere to the law and respect an individual's privacy rights. However, if an investigator engages in illegal or unethical practices, such as stalking, invasion of privacy, or harassment, then it would be considered unlawful and can lead to legal consequences. It is important to ensure you hire a reputable and licensed investigator who operates within the boundaries of the law.

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