Private Investigator in Geneva: Rates and Practical Advice

Hiring a private investigator might seem like a daunting and complex task, particularly when it comes to understanding the rates charged for this type of service. A question naturally arises: what are the rates for a private investigator in Geneva and elsewhere in Switzerland?

In Switzerland, the rates for a private investigator usually range between CHF 85 and CHF 150 per hour (excluding 7.7% VAT). These rates are influenced by the nature of the investigation, the required skills, the resources deployed, and the duration of the work.

Let’s now look more closely at the various elements that determine the cost of an investigation so that you can better understand these rates.

How Is a Private Investigator’s Remuneration Calculated?

The remuneration of a private investigator is generally calculated based on various key factors that determine not only the scope of the work but also the quality of the service provided.

These factors can be grouped into four main categories: specialization, experience, nature of the investigation, and resources deployed.

1 – Specialization

Specialization plays a crucial role in pricing the services of a private investigator. A professional specializing in complex fields such as cybercrime or financial fraud, and who possesses specific skills, can charge higher rates.

2 – Experience and skill

Experience and skill directly influence the pricing. A private investigator with a long experience or recognized skills in their field can justify higher rates due to their ability to solve complex cases.

3 – Nature of the investigation

The nature of the investigation is another factor influencing the cost. Investigations requiring intensive surveillance or particular investigation techniques can lead to additional costs.

4 – Resources deployed and work duration

Finally, the resources deployed to carry out the investigation (number of detectives, equipment) and the duration of the work are also taken into account. An investigation requiring substantial resources or a lengthy period of engagement can involve higher costs.

Average Rates for a Private Investigator in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the average hourly rate for a private investigator is usually between CHF 85 and CHF 150, a range that does not include the 7.7% VAT. It is however important to keep in mind that these figures can vary depending on many factors that we discussed earlier.

Also, it seems essential to us to highlight the importance of service quality in relation to cost. It’s here that a relevant quote takes on its full meaning:

 “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.

In short, paying more for a professional service can prove economically wise to avoid the potentially high costs that would result from a job poorly done.

Freely Set Rates by Private Investigators

In the field of private investigation in Switzerland, there is no standard or fixed rate. Indeed, private investigators, as independent professionals, have the freedom to set their own rates based on various factors, including their experience, specialization, and the nature of the investigation.

That’s why we thought it useful to mention the rate range above. It, therefore, allows you to have a fairly precise idea of the rates generally practiced in the private investigation sector in Geneva, but also throughout Swiss territory.

Caution Against Too Low Rates

Still on the subject of rates, it’s important to be cautious of a private detective who offers significantly lower rates than the market average. This usually means that the professional lacks experience and skills in the case you wish to entrust to them.

Also, remember especially one thing: “a cheap private detective” does not exist!

Different Types of Billing

In Switzerland, private detectives can adopt different billing methods. In addition to the hourly rate, it is common to see packages established for certain types of investigations, such as surveillance or observation. These packages can be set on a weekly, monthly, or fixed-price basis, depending on the nature of the work and its duration.

It is also possible for a detective to ask for a deposit before the start of the investigation. This works like a down payment, giving the professional the financial security necessary to start their work. However, it is recommended to fully understand all the details of the billing before committing.

Finally, it is important to note that some private investigators may offer pricing based on the results obtained. For example, in the case of an investigation into a missing person, the detective might be paid only if the person is actually found. Note, however, that this results-oriented approach is quite rare.

Advice for Clients

When you hire a private investigator, it is essential to demand a proper contract, which specifies the cost and resources used for the investigation.

Also, be aware that in case of a dispute, you have the option to refer to the tax commission to find a solution to your problem.


Understanding the rates charged by private detectives might seem confusing at first. However, by recalling the key points we highlighted in this article, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision.

In conclusion, it is essential to exercise due diligence and discernment when choosing your private investigator to ensure the effectiveness and professionalism of the investigation.

We also invite you to consult our guide on selecting the right private investigator in Switzerland, to protect yourself from potential misadventures.


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