0

I work mostly from home, but I do have some clients that want me to commute to their homes for updates.

How should I handle these fees? I would love to hear from people who have experienced this kind if work. :)

  • In my country the Law proscribes how much we should charge if we drive a car officially. The price is counted per 1 km and includes fuel and amortization. So I either count this price or some rounded price. – Peter MV Sep 12 '16 at 9:09
4

I generally don't charge unless there are unusual costs involved.

What that means, is...

  • If I have to drive 150 miles, I'll rent a vehicle and charge the client for the vehicle rental then 50¢/mile for time, then work time on site. I do not charge my hourly rate for drive time.... I can't work on anything and can only drive. While I deserve to be compensated, I don't feel it's justified to charge my hourly rate to drive.

  • If I need to purchase airfare.. the client is charged for that, plus accommodations, in addition to actual work hours on site. I don't charge for actual time traveling. I can work on anything I choose on the plane or in the hotel... so if I happen to be working on the client's projects, then they are charged for that time. But as a blanket rule, there's no direct, automatic charge for travel time.

  • If I have to drive 20 minutes across town... I don't charge for that. I charge for time on site, but not for travel. These costs are so minimal that I just see them as the price for doing business.

  • It's true that you "can't work"* while driving that's why you should be "refunded", because if you in your working hours stop to work to drive 1 hour to your client, you could use that time to do something else that will produce a gain for you, also you are spending money for fuel etc, that's why is correct to charge for the travel. It's a refund for gain loss and car expenses. *Also while driving I use to elaborate solution and mentally arrange and prepare the work or meeting, that's work too, not only what you physically do. – Mario Sep 10 '16 at 7:41
  • Sorry, I find that ridiculous. I can't work while in the bathroom either (at least not effectively). Should I charge clients for restroom time then?? – Scott Sep 10 '16 at 8:56
  • If you are in the company bathroom and get suddenly enlightened on a revolutionary solution or idea that will change the world then you will not charge for that because you were in the bathroom ;) If you take 2 hours of your time in work hours to go to the client office and you use that time to do intellectual work that will be tranformed in real valuable products, that is chargeable work in my point of view. Other than the fact that as I said you could be doing something else in that time so I don't see why I should just loose that gain and pay fuel and other expenses. IMHO. – Mario Sep 10 '16 at 9:37
  • I guess some people just look to charge the client for anything and everything they can get away with. I tend to not look for ways of taking advantage of my clients. – Scott Sep 10 '16 at 15:03
  • My clients don't expect to be charged for travel time either, it's included in my fee. Exceptions exist of course: traveling abroad or large distance (more than 150km) where hotels are involved etc. but I always charge those 1-on-1 i.e. exactly what it cost me, no margin. – user3244085 Sep 10 '16 at 20:32
2

It depends on the type of meeting and the "size" of the project.

If it is a medium-big project, I usually add a certain amount to the whole price that will cover the first meeting and the next 2 or 3, in terms of work time (for updates, quotes, drafts, etc) and travelling cost. I don't charge directly for the meeting itself but I get paid anyway because it's included in the whole price.

If I am requested to work at the client's company or office, I charge an hourly rate for all the hours that I stay there plus the time for travelling.

For example I stay at client's office for 6 hours plus it takes for me 45 minutes to travel by car from my office, I charge in total 7,5 hours x my hourly rate. Because if you in your working hours stop to work to drive 1 hour to your client, you could use that time to do something else that will produce a gain for you, also you are spending money for fuel etc, that's why is correct to charge for the travel. It's a refund for gain loss and car expenses that you wouldn't have if you didn't have to go there.

Of course if the client is close and I take 30 minutes or less I don't charge anything.

Also if the clients are reliable and we have a good work relationship, we usually agree by voice and all is ok, otherwise before I go I make them sign an "intervention receipt" with the time I stayed there, the travel time, and final price, so they can't complain after.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.