I need your HElp

sam gha

Hi everyone and merry xmas.

I just wanted some of your advise on something. I have received projects of installations to work out of town. Some are six hours away and some are two hours away. The vinly installations themselves are about 2-6hr estimated time jobs.

Now my question is:
What do I charge per kilometre for mileage, what do i charge if it's an overnight stay out of town, and what or even if i charge for meals?/

For example, if I have this scenerio:

I would have to drive out of town six hours and do an installation job of two hours???What should I charge or the reasonable charge in that case?


New Member
Just charge out the labour of driving thats what I do if a job is 3 hrs aways I charge 65$/hour from when I leave to when i get back. Time is money and money is time


New Member
Well Sam,
If your are not planning on taking up permanent residency in the town you are going to, you will need to charge for ROUND TRIP. From your shop, to site, back to your shop.
As to what to charge??
What are your regular shop rates for doing work in your shop?
Start with that, as you will NOT BE MAKING ANY MONEY IN YOUR SHOP while you are traveling. Add for fuel charges and tolls if any.


New Member
charge your houry rate from the time you leave the shop to the time you return. If a customer hires you o a job a rediculous distance away, that's their choice and they should compensate you your normal hourly rate as if it were any other job. Whether you're driving to the job site or actually performing the installation, you have left your business and are unable to produce profitable work for any other customer during the time you are driving. Drive time is billable time like any other labor.

To calculate drive time to AND FROM a job, we use google maps or something similar to calculate the actual drive time and round up to the next 15 minute increment.

edit: if you have to stay overnight in a hotel, charge the customer the actual cost for the accomodations (assuming it's a job that cannot in any way practically be done in a single day with drive time) include a copy of the bill with your invoice. Do not charge for meals, it isn't your customer's responsibility to buy you food that you'd be eating whether you were on the road for them or at home. The profit from their job is intended to feed you.
myself if it is a sign project that i have to go out of town to install/deliver/oversee/etc (or more often the client demands it) i am making so much profit that the cost of hotel and dinner really doesnt enter the equation..i'm probably going to take the client out for dinner anyways. if it is a simple installation hire someone locally to do the work and work on bigger and better things.

a project of that magnitude for me to have to go out of town for installation etc would be a sizeable or very demanding project that i could not hire someone locally to do the job.

however back in the day when i had to send employees out of town for bidding purposes we included $120 per night / per employee for hotel (unless it was an exclusive/resort/vacation area and then we would call and get firm pricing and charge actual costs) and we provided each employee $52.50 per day per diem for food. i have worked with other companies whose per diem is as low as $30 per day just to give a range of prices. and as far as billing for employee travel we charged $40 per hour per employee for travel time, which was approx. 1/3 of our working hourly rate.

and like i tell all of my consultation clients as far as my personal travel expenses are concerned...i'm not staying in motel 6 or the no-tell motel and i'm not eating dinner at the taco bell...


New Member
what about accommodations and meals. I have thought to charge .55cents per km (I am in Canada)

.55cents per km is way to low IMO.

In previous employment as an automation control panel builder/serviceman some 12 years ago before going on my own I traveled many places in Ontario doing installations and repair.
Company I worked for charged hourly rate plus .42 cents per km. Gas back then was half the cost of today's. My guess is it should be in 80 to 90 cents/km on top of your hourly wage.