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Is it fair to charge full day rate for work with travel?

(17 Posts)
chummymummy7 Fri 24-May-13 09:24:37

I usually work from home as the costs of travel and childcare mount up to make office work unviable.

a client wants me to join him at a meeting in town (travel involves rail plus tube, so costs a fair bit) which would only take a couple of hours, plus travel. I should add, the client meeting doesn't guarantee me any future work.

I've explained charging full day rate is only way to make it viable for me . He's now asked if I can 'make up'the remaining hours on another occasion.

surely that defeats the point of me charging the day rate?

final point - it's really valuable for him to have somebody else with him at the client meeting.

advice? confused

DeepRedBetty Fri 24-May-13 09:27:56

Apart from this meeting, are you otherwise likely to get lots of work from this particular client?

badguider Fri 24-May-13 09:33:17

Yes, he clearly doesn't understand....
I would say that you've decided after the discussion to only charge for the hours he requires you to be out of your normal place of work but you will add travel expenses....
I imagine i'll work out the same smile

chummymummy7 Fri 24-May-13 09:38:39

yes good advice to charge for time involved plus travel.

I get the very odd bit and bob of work from this client, but at the lowest day rate of all my clients ( priced myself too low with them from the start ).

really wondering: what do you do re charging for meetings involving travel?

DorisShutt Fri 24-May-13 09:58:05

When we have consultants charge us, they usually give us their invoice with travel expenses added - and then a separate sheet with the breakdown.

So:
travel from x to y by train = £xx.xx
Taxi from train to location = £xx.xx
Total = £yy.yy

chummymummy7 Fri 24-May-13 10:14:43

Thanks DorisShutt - so presumably they charge you for exact hours worked plus travel expenses - or is it travel expenses on top of their day rate?

ParsingFancy Fri 24-May-13 10:19:25

Do you usually charge by the hour?

Can you set a different hourly rate for off-site work? That might allow you to charge only for the contact hours (feels better to client than obviously paying for travel time), while still recouping your additional costs.

DorisShutt Fri 24-May-13 10:29:59

Yes, usually the hours worked - although it can be a bit flexible IYSWIM.

If they've done a job, and it's at a very far flung site, and they've taken most of the day, then they would negotiate and charge us for the full day as they are then unable to do jobs for another client, but then they may not charge us for the transportation. If it's in their town/city, then we would not expect that and would expect the exact hours charged, but would expect a taxi fee/mileage claim.

We have a very good relationship with our suppliers (mostly) and 9 times out of 10 the cost is negotiated beforehand though.

Not much help am I? grin

oohaveabanana Fri 24-May-13 10:35:25

I charge day rates (for some clients) & my approach varies depending on how important the client relationship is and what I think I can get away with smile

When charging, I position it to the client - if they ask- around loss of earnings - if I am traveling (assuming not long journey where you can work on train) I can't be working on other, fee paying tasks.

I have in the past also charged different rates for traveling vs working time (eg. half rate for traveling time) - would that be a good solution to keep him happy?

Kiriwawa Fri 24-May-13 10:35:27

I tend to charge my clients 1/2 rate for travel as they are really paying for my intellectual input, not sitting on a train. And also I feel that it's my decision to be based outside London so if I don't want them trying to find an alternative person who doesn't have the same sort of time/travel outlays, I need to suck up some of the cost. I do charge expenses though

Flibbertyjibbet Fri 24-May-13 10:53:23

I charge by the hour and have a lower rate for working from home.

I don't charge travel to the ones that I travel to for work, but the higher hourly rate makes up for this.

In your case I'd charge the hours of the meeting, plus the hours of travel, plus the travel expenses. CHarging a full day rate when he usually pays by the hour, might be a bit high if the travel plus meeting is going to take half a day.

Should he quibble any part of it (ie the travel time) then ask him what you are supposed to do during the travelling time as you won't be able to be working for anyone else!

Talkinpeace Sat 25-May-13 11:31:01

DH and I both charge by the day : on the basis that a part day actually blocks the whole of the day out for other bookings.

chummymummy7 Sat 25-May-13 11:45:47

That's interesting talkinpeace and something I have considered.

Do you mind if I ask roughly what line of work you/DH do? I'm presuming it's something where you can't often take on half-day work/odd projects charged by the hour?

Talkinpeace Sat 25-May-13 13:11:13

I'm an accountant
DH travels around to schools and public events

I regularly work the odd hour at home, but price 'by the job'
he left the house at 7am today and wont be back till 5, despite only being "in action" for three hours

chummymummy7 Sat 25-May-13 15:21:56

that's really helpful, thanks

yes I've found that pricing by the hour doesn't tend to work that favourably, and often devalues the work being done.

WilsonFrickett Mon 27-May-13 17:33:44

I work from home (copywriter) but always offer a 'free' face to face meeting to meet new clients/kick off projects. I then make it very, very clear that if they want me to attend meetings the minimum I will charge is a full half day, and in practice it's usually a full day. I make the point that it's therefore in their best interests that I work from home as much as possible.

I've only once been asked to explain it, which I did by saying: if I am leaving the house at 9 to come and meet you for a meeting and getting home at 2, I don't have any other time to 'sell' that day. Whereas if I work for you for 2 hours at home, I have other time to sell. (I mostly charge per hour.) They can usually do the maths on that and see my point.

badguider Mon 27-May-13 17:37:36

I think it also depends where you are and where you mostly work. I am in South Scotland and can be asked to work anywhere from London to the Scottish Islands. Some journeys cost a fortune in time/petrol/flights and it's not always the longest ones (london quite fast/cheap compared to getting to parts of the Highlands).

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