Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › Charge for travel?
- February 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM #49469
Hi, i was wondering how you guys charge if you have to travel. Say you have a client 5hrs away or even 20. Do you just charge for costs of travel or also a rate for your travel time?
- February 10, 2012 at 6:21 PM #202510EarlCMember
If my gig is more than a couple hours away, depending, I advise them of a travel fee that starts at $100. For extensive travel, travel by boat, plane, train or time machine, travel requiring overnight stays, food, lodging is included in an per diem expense package based on how much the actual costs and investment of time outside actual production is involved. Except for the most well-heeled projects though, don’t expect a lot of straight-forward acceptance of these fees, in spite of the reality that they ARE legitimate costs to you.
- February 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM #202511composite1Member
It was an expectation for professional work, client’s would be charged for travel expenses be they mileage, flights, food and lodging or any equipment shipping costs. Now there’s this (annoying) trend where clients want to charge flat rates for work. These flat rates often do not cover travel expenses. That may not be a bad thing if you live in the immediate area of the job and incur negligible travel expenses.
Here’s how I’ve seen it break down in the last few years; if you are the primary contractor (i.e. Producer) you can project expected travel fees in your proposal/contract. If you’re hiring on, like say off a job website that won’t be the case. Most likely in that situation, you’ll get only what they offer. Now, on the other hand there is no reason if you incur additional expenses not to ask to be compensated for them. Just be advised more than likely you won’t get any extra.
This is especially true when you crew up for paid positions like PA or technical assistant types. These days, productions are trying to keep budgets cut and dry. So for lower-end jobs or low-budget gigs, your options for travel pay and the like are limited if not non-existent.
- February 10, 2012 at 7:13 PM #202512
Thanks for the input, i get mostly all out of town jobs and gas is pricey these days. I have been charging a fee for gas based on mileage but was curious about other things, sometimes i drive 10+ one way and that takes up alot of time also. I know with the times everyone is on a budget that why i was curious what people were doing.
- February 10, 2012 at 8:35 PM #202513composite1Member
My situation is similar as most of my gigs are out of town. If you’re in the US, the max mileage rating for Gov. travel is $.50+ per mile. Most outfits will low-ball you around $.30+ per mile. Mileage adds up quickly so if it’s a gig in your town or within the immediate area, you may want to give your client a ‘mileage’ waiver and let them know you did in your invoice.
When you pick up gigs off sites like Craig’s List, all too often they are in the $150-300 flat-rate range. That’s great for the person doing the hiring, no so much for the person applying for the gig. Particularly, if you have to travel or stay overnight. You also get types who don’t want to feed you on the job or at least reimburse your lunch/dinner. I do my best to avoid gigs like that, however sometimes you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do….
Best way to get info on what to base your mileage and travel costs on is to go to the US General Services Administration’s page for that, per diem and lodging rates by location.
- February 11, 2012 at 2:13 PM #202514
^^^ Thanks im going to check that out.
- February 12, 2012 at 6:49 AM #202515JackWolcottParticipant
Here’s another way to think about it. A colleague of mine shoots depositions for a local company. They pay $65 per hour. Recently they asked him to shoot in a town about an hour from here. The deposition was to run 2 hours and there’s about 2 hours of paperwork, packaging and mailing that follows the deposition.
The company doesn’t pay for mileage or for the paperwork so he’s looking at tying up 2 hours of driving, two hours of shooting, and hour of setup and tear down and two hours of paperwork $130, less $8 for gas. This comes out to around $20 an hour. If he stayed home and edited for 6 hours at $75 an hour, his regular rate, he’d be making $450.
As EarlC points out, many potential clients will baulk at paying for travel time, meals, lodging, etc. They’re probably clients it’s a mistake to work for.
- February 12, 2012 at 3:21 PM #202516
Your very right, alot of people want you to eat the costs but they add up very quickly.
- February 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM #202517CharlesParticipant
I use the Federal milage rate and charge expenses. If they are not willing to pay them I do not go. The Federal rate is $0.51 cents per mile and the average daily expense is $50. per day depending on the city. I have a gig up in Chicago at the end of next month and I will make more in travel and expenses than I will in actual shooting the video. I am just saying if it is not worth the effort and wear and tear on you and your vehicle, don’t do it.
- February 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM #202518
- June 26, 2017 at 7:04 AM #215729tommybadgerParticipant
I charge half my hourly rate ($75) for travel. Here’s something I learned recently—it’s can be cheaper to rent a car than to drive your own car…. Say I have a 100 mile drive: I bill the client for the government rate of 55 cents per mile—so that adds up to 55 dollars. But you can generally rent a car for around $35 per day. Buying the gas brings the total cost back up to $55 so I’m not making a profit or ripping anyone off, but I do save wear and tear on my car and I can show up in a nicer car so I look more professional. And as far as gear goes, most cars now you can fold down the back seat which transforms a sedan into a fairly plush equipment hauler.
- June 30, 2017 at 4:43 AM #215754alexandre1Member
Thank you for good points! Gave me a few ideas. Thanks once more!
- July 6, 2017 at 11:17 AM #215777paulearsParticipant
In my industry – entertainment – travel days are full pay or half pay depending on the producer. If I am going to spend a day working, but out of circulation, and this unable to take up other work, then the client pays for it. In the UK we have mileage allowances for business use with our tax authorities – but travel time is a tangible and expensive thing. Getting on a plane, flying thousands of miles, doing two hours work and then going home again is three days. Travel is not fun, it is part of work. Some of my colleagues insist on full pay. I just charge half my rate for travel days. The clients get a good deal because shooting mon/wed/friday often means leaving home on Sunday, getting back on Saturday. Mileage does NOT cover this.
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