Call out fees for plumbers


Well-known member
Leaky pipe in the toilets

£80 call out even though our office is NEXT DOOR to their premises

I can understand the fee if they have to travel half an hour each way, but next door wtf?!
If they didnt call it a "call out fee" but called it a "Discovery Call" or something similar, would you still have the same issue ?

It's part of their business model like it or not.
I had a client the other day who had picked an emergency plumber because their advert said there was no call out fee.
He then signed up to their terms which were £150 for the first hour!


Well-known member
Find a good plumber / electrician and stick to them! I typically pay about £60 for 2 hours of work with no call out fee.


Well-known member
Find a good plumber / electrician and stick to them! I typically pay about £60 for 2 hours of work with no call out fee.
That's more like it. The work will take about 5 or 10 mins, and I resent having to pay £80 + whatever on top for something that will take literally 15 mins max door to door.

I'll figure out how to do it myself, can't be that hard ;)


Active member
It's like anything in construction, and having a mobilisation or call out fee is generally the best way to do it, as it generally works out the most accurate method of pricing for companies that do a range of small and large jobs, and they're often turning over more and have better insurance.
The call out fee is to cover:
Taking the call, admin, invoicing, chasing payment, insurance, training, fuel, tools, allowing an hours dead time before and after the job etc etc + profit
Then the hourly rate covers wages + profit
Then materials covers materials + profit

If the job is 2,20 or 200 miles away then the admin and other fixed costs are the same or near enough.

It's call out fee plus standard rate, or no call out fee and high rate per hour.
People go bananas when a job doesn't go as planned and the job is just on hourly rate with no call out fee, as this way ends up much more expensive. An hours worth of admin to change each job to suit will burn through £15 wages and another £15, 1500 or 15,000 on fixed costs. Whilst they're dealing with your piddly job, they might miss a call for a 200k job.

Unless you've ran a company or worked as a sol trader it really is hard to understand how much goes into small jobs. They only see the hour on site, so think "this should be £20".

Nearly every contractor I know would rather be on a big job with a lesser rate, than doing loads of little jobs for a higher rate as the admin and messing about/ lost time costs a fortune.


Active member
My company would charge you £1-4k before we even leave the yard to move the kit next door! More to do with main utilities though, than domestic/ private stuff.