What does a Private Investigator Cost in Los Angeles?

private investigator cost in Los Angeles, Private Investigator

What are private investigators in Los Angeles rates?

How much does a private investigator cost in Los Angeles?

Can I afford Kinsey Investigations services?

What are cheaters detective agency costs?

How much does a private investigator cost in Los Angeles? …

All of these are questions that our private investigators in Los Angeles get from clients on daily basis. We decided to provide here complete and detailed answers to all cost-related questions about our investigation services in Los Angeles.

When we watch crime movies and see private investigators in action; we assume that the work of a private investigator is effortless and easy. We are not getting the blame for this though, that is what portrays on our screens. However, reality offers a different situation. The life of an average private investigator is different from what you see in movies.

In real life, crime is not effortlessly solved, as depicted in movies. And surveillance is not in any way stalking as movies portray it. Instead, a private investigator’s work is more technical and complex. A private investigator’s work is similar to that of an administrator. It requires patience, critical thinking, strategic decisions, and a lot of time (though the time invested in jobs differ).

There are many services a private investigator can perform for you. In Los Angeles, some of these services are:

The highlighted are a few examples among the many values that a hired private investigator can do for you. However, it is not enough to know the services of a private investigator. The real question is:

How much does a private investigator cost in California?

Our Private investigators in California provide a variety of services that range from very simple to highly complex. That is why the first step in hiring a private investigator is to understand why you need their services. The clearest and specific you can be regarding your needs, the better you will nail down the actual cost.

Investigative services vary widely in their complexity, as do their costs. For example, a missing person search might be as easy as a simple Google search. Or it could take months or even years of online searching, personal interviews, travel to other states, etc., to locate the person.

Below, we provide you with a list of factors that affect the cost of hiring a Private investigator in Los Angeles. Also, you will find our rates well defined for some cases.


Some private investigators in California will charge an upfront fee called a retainer. It is similar to a deposit, which can be applied toward future work. The amount will vary depending on the agency, area, and case. Make sure you clearly understand whether a retainer fee is required and how the money will be applied toward future investigative work.

Hourly Rates

Most private investigators charge an hourly rate for services such as surveillance or investigating a cheating spouse. The total cost is then determined by the hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours worked. The private investigators’ hourly ratesmay be negotiable, so be sure to agree on a price before hiring a PI to do the work.

Can you afford to hire a private investigator?

Well, there is no general pricing for private investigation. Sometimes, it might differ based on your geographical location. So, if you are in Los Angeles, your ideal question is:

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator in Los Angeles?

This question is not one with a straightforward answer. Private investigators in Los Angeles, just like every other location, do not have a general salary scale. Thus, giving an honest answer won’t do any good. However, from different reports, interviews…most private investigators in Los Angeles charge $80-$150 per hour. As a company, we charge $125 per hour because of the quality we put in our services.

Nevertheless, there is no universal cost of private investigators in LA. The reason for the uncertainty of the exact value of a private investigator is simply because not all private investigators are the same.

What are the factors affecting the cost of private investigators in Los Angeles?

Overall, if you want to hire a private investigator, asides the pricings, you should know the reasons for the cost. The underlying factors behind the different prices of a Los Angeles’ PIis not as simple as it seems. Before private investigators charge you, there are various factors that we consider. We don’t merely charge based on the time put into job delivery alone. Here is one of the few reasons why a private investigation is similar to an administrative job. Find out the different factors that determine the cost, services, and charges of a PI to avoid unnecessary complications in the long run.

Some of the factors affecting the cost of employing a P.I in LA are:

  • Types of services rendered and their relative complexity

Private investigation has different categories of services. PI is not merely about locating or trailing a person. There are other services such as surveillance, in-depth research, helping in child custody, and additional investigation strategies. All these services attract different prices. They are not all the same price. The reason for the differences in price level is because these services require an unusual amount of effort and technical know-how. For instance, when you contact a private investigator to help in surveillance or a service that requires in-depth research, time, and resources. You should expect a higher cost than an investigation that merely requires computer and proprietary database research.

Below are some of the pricings for categories of investigations in LA:

  • Following someone (surveillance) – Between the range of $400 -600
  • Examination of relationship/financial unfaithfulness- Between the range of $400 – 1500
  • Comprehensive research- Between $300-$600

Next time you approach a private investigator always remember the intricacies involved in delivering your demand.

  • Implementation of surveillance in the investigation

Surveillance is a method implemented in private investigation for cases involving infidelity in marriages, financial fraud, employee’s financial crimes, among others.  Surveillance is one of the sought-after aspects of private investigation as it is credible for its reputation of providing pieces of evidence that would be hard for perpetrators to deny. The high demand for surveillance makes it expensive. If you meet a private investigator to help in an investigation that needs surveillance, the chances that he will charge you on the high side is above a 70%. For instance, as a PI agency, we charge $100/hour for surveillance services, and the minimum surveillance time is 4 hours.

  • The number of hands needed for the investigation

One factor that determines the total cost for private investigation services is if the situation requires more than a single private investigator. If more than one PI is needed, that is a strong indication that a case is high-level. Thus, the cost of the case will be higher than usual because you have more people to pay.

  • The sophistication of equipment needed in a case

Another factor affecting the cost of hiring private investigators is the consideration of the complexity of the equipment necessary for the success of a case. As earlier stated, not all cases are the same. Some situations require only a five to sixty minutes of research. In sharp contrast, some cases are far more complex and might require the use of sophisticated equipment. A case that needs the use of lie detectors or GPS units will cost you higher than the standard charges.

  • The reputation of the private investigation agency

Reputation is something that every private investigator possesses. And the reputation of your hired PI. Mostly determines the price of their services. For instance, PI companies in Los Angeles such as our company will not charge the same flat or hourly fee as a novice private investigator. Why? Because companies like ours have spent years building their reputation by succeeding in cases over the years. So, there are high standards and expectations which they must meet. Before you accuse a PI agency of charging you excessively, consider their reputation and how it affects their cost.

The above factors are some of the genuine reasons behind some high charges. However, certain abusive practices happen in the PI industry. Many people are not aware of the dynamics of the private investigation sphere (this is why we wrote this blog to keep you abreast). Some dishonest private investigators exploit the naivety of people to their advantage. This exploitation is an abusive practice in terms of cost.

  • Market Differences affect the Cost to Hire a Private Investigator.

The cost to hire a private investigator will vary depending on the market or geographic area being served. That being said, prices will be higher in metropolitan areas due to licensing, insurance, transportation, office space, etc.

Expect to pay more for a private investigator in areas where living costs are expensive, such as New York or San Francisco, Los Angeles…

  • Experience:

The cost of hiring a private investigator in Los Angeles will also vary based on the private investigator’s experience. A private detective with an extensive career involving military or government intelligence or a career in law enforcement will be more expensive than someone just getting into the business.

  • Travel Expenses

If travel is involved in solving your case, private investigators will charge these expenses back to you. Investigators may have to travel within the local area to other states depending on where the case leads. Some travel expenses include:

  • Mileage, gas, and parking fees
  • Tickets for travel via plane, bus, train…
  • Lodging expenditures for hotel rooms

Travel expenses can add up quickly, so be sure to have a clear understanding of what you’re going to pay for.

Is it worth it to hire a private investigator?

It does not matter what case they are working on or their area of specialization, Kinsey’s private investigators, are always seeking justice. They’re assembling documents, collecting evidence, and interviewing witnesses to provide our clients with the information they need. They’re earning themselves a reputation for being trustworthy, honest, and reliable along the way.

There are plenty of reasons to hire a private investigator. It may be personal such as the need to find a lost loved one, reveal if a spouse is cheating or performing illegal activities that could affect the other spouse, and many similar reasons.

The need to unveil the truth often requires someone experienced in how to attain the information necessary. The skills of our private investigators are far superior to those of even educated persons. Because personal or business investigations may lead to potential adverse consequences when not performed correctly, it is often recommended to hire someone professional that has the expertise in revealing various elements of the investigation and what is needed for the situation. If surveillance of an area is required, our private investigators have many hours in training to provide these services in LA and all of California.

Our private investigators in California perform many vital functions including:

PS: Private investigators in California may protect individuals if relevant to the investigation, but they may not protect property.

But how do I know when a private investigator is cheating me. I’m not in the industry, remember?

Private Investigator in Los Angeles Fraud alert signs

As complex as the PI industry might appear, there are simple yet effective ways that you can recognize if you are unnecessarily charged. What are some of the signs that indicate abuse in terms of cost?

  1. When the private investigator does not charge you upfront, but instead, keeps you in the dark till the end of a case. Beware!
  2. When your hired private investigator does not keep tabs with you about the development of a case, you should apply more carefulness in your dealings with such company. Under no circumstance must your private investigator hide anything from you. You are the client, and you rightfully have the privilege to demand anything that you need to know. Our agency recognizes the importance of clients; this is why we regularly update our clients about developments. Also, we ask relevant questions that advance the case in hand.
  3. When your private investigator does what we call “milk the client” by suggesting surveillance at ridiculous hours. If you know this target is a lazy person, does not get up or even leave the house until 9:30 or 10:30 a.m., there is no reason to start watching them at 5 am and keep them on 24-hour surveillance, especially if they never go anywhere.

If the same individual is active and unpredictable, yes, we may suggest starting early, but we keep you updated on their activity throughout the day and you have to option to go longer.  We have had cases booked for 4 hours that were active and they turned in to 16, 17, and even 18 hour days. There are unique cases that need 24/7, but if your investigator starts out with this, be wary.

If you want to prevent cases like this of being overcharged or you’d like to get quality investigation for a case, you are in the right hands. There is no need to search further. Our private investigation is one of the best in Los Angeles and our reputation is stellar. We invite you to find us on Google reviews, on Yelp, and others.  Do your homework.

Do you know what sets us apart from other private investigation agencies?

Private Investigator Los Angeles quality control

Our charges are clearly defined. We charge $100 per hour, and the minimum of our service is 4 hours for surveillance services. We provide you with an exact written quote before we even begin a case. You know the charges upfront. There are no surprises. And if things change during a case (which they inevitably can), we keep you abreast of any additional fees.  For example, during your 4-hours, the subject is still out and about at 3 hours 45 minutes, we will ask you what you want to do. Do we stay with them or are you ok. Usually, the answer is “let’s see what they do next”…. (OK, we stay, and you know the costs involved because we let you know).

We value our clients.  We have a client intake form where there are requirements for the description of your goal, a means of identification, and payment methods. This form is the prerequisite for further actions. Without this form filled out, we won’t proceed with the investigation.

If you are seeking consultation services on investigative matters, you are guaranteed a free consultation with our company. Note that each case is unique and each case requires a unique quote.

If you want to hire a different PI and you want to ensure a due diligence process, call us at (310) 613 3755 or request a free consultation here. However, make sure your potential PI is licensed and has excellent reviews.

Don’t take our word for it! See what our clients are saying about our investigation services in Los Angeles, CA.

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