How Much Should You Be Paying For A DBS Check? DBS Check Cost 2022

For many businesses, DBS’s are essential to how they operate. Whether it be due to the job role including handling sensitive data, looking after the vulnerable or the organisation simply wanting some peace of mind when making their recruitment decision – DBS checks are important for the business, their staff, and customers.

Companies shouldn’t pay over the odds for their DBS applications when they don’t have to, especially when they need to apply for a large amount!

You might not be able to avoid getting a DBS check as an employer, but you can avoid overpaying for them! As an employer, you have to use an Umbrella Body (a company that processes, checks, and sends off the DBS application), so it’s best to find one that doesn’t try to take as much from you as they can.

In this article, we’re going to break down what you are paying for in a DBS check, how much a DBS check should actually be, and where best to get one.

dbs check prices

DBS Fee From The Government

The first cost that will be part of your DBS check application is the set fee charged by the Government, which will be different depending on the level of DBS requested.

Government Fee costs are as follows:
Basic DBS Check Cost: £18
Standard DBS Check Cost: £18
Enhanced DBS Check Cost: £38

As mentioned, this fee is charged by the UK Government, and is unavoidable (unless it is for a volunteer).

You shouldn’t be charged more than the above prices for the government DBS fee. Over the years, many companies like to add a few extra pounds to these costs to make a bit of extra money from their customers. A smart business move, or plain greedy? You decide. On top of this cost, there will also be smaller admin fees which are separate, although we’ll go on to talk about these in a minute.

Just make sure that you’re not paying more than you should for the Government set DBS fee.

DBS Check Cost for Volunteers

If a volunteer requires a Standard or Enhanced check, then they do not have to pay the DBS check fee – meaning only the admin fee is paid.

dbs checks for volunteers

Admin Fee From The Umbrella Body

The admin fee is what an Umbrella Body charges you for using their services, such as their online system, customer support and countersigning your application before sending it off to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

It’s understandable why umbrella bodies charge an admin fee, as developing an online DBS system does take time and effort. However, some Bodies are not afraid to take advantage of this and will charge through the roof for the use of their service.

Having just a brief look online will show admin fees ranging from just a few pounds, to over £30, per application – remember, this is on top of the DBS check fee!

Will the DBS application company that charges £30 be able to provide so much extra value that it is worth the heavy price tag? No!

At the end of the day, you want to have support from an experienced team, who will process your application correctly, and get it sent off to the Disclosure & Barring Service as soon as possible. It has been known for some to charge extra for an “express” service, where they make you pay more money for checking and sending your application off slightly quicker.

Since every DBS check can be just as important, this isn’t something that you should be charged extra for, and reputable umbrella bodies should countersign all applications the same day they receive them!

Avoid DBS Sign-Up Fees

Sign-up fees are one of the biggest cons out there! 

When an umbrella body asks you to pay a sign-up fee, ask yourself why.

Is there a good reason you’re being charged to enter your details, and for them to put you on the system? 9 out of 10 times, there isn’t a good reason, it’s just a method to get more money out of you, and tie you down to their system.

If you’ve paid to use a system, you’re much less likely to go somewhere else, even if they are cheaper. 

Anyone in business should be more than happy to have you use their service and definitely won’t charge you for the pleasure of signing up.

DBS check cost

Where Can You Get The Best Priced DBS Checks?

Just because a business comes at the top of the Google rankings, it doesn’t mean they offer the best value-for-money service!

Below there is a few examples of the prices that other organisations charge, as well as our own.

To avoid any embarrassment that may occur from this comparison, we have left the names of the firms out, but a quick search on Google will bring them up.

All prices will be based on the cost of applying for one single DBS check, with the admin fee being in bold. This is their cost for doing the admin of check, and is separate from the set government price. 

Competitor 1

Basic DBS Check: £18 with a £10.40 Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £18 with a £10.40 Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £38 with a £10.40 Admin Fee

Competitor 2

Basic DBS Check: £18 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £18 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £38 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee

Aaron’s Department (That’s Us!)

Basic DBS Check: £18 with a £4.95 +VAT Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £18 with a £7.95 +VAT Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £38 with a £9.95 +VAT Admin Fee

Competitor 3

Basic DBS Check: £18 with a £20.99 Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £18 with a £29.99 Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £38 with a £24.99 Admin Fee

That’s quite a large difference in price for what is the same job! Whilst it is impossible to comment on the experience and speed of the competitors, in essence, they all offer the same service, but charge more for the privilege!

aarons department dbs checks

Summary: How Much Is A DBS Check?

Cost Of A Basic DBS Check

At Aaron’s Department, a Basic DBS check costs £22.95 (£18 Gov. fee & £4.95+VAT admin fee), but this can be reduced further by taking advantage of our Free Admin Credit scheme.

Cost Of A Standard DBS Check

We offer Standard DBS checks for £25.95 (£18 Gov. fee & £7.95+VAT admin fee), but it can be reduced further by taking advantage of our Free Admin Credit scheme.

Cost Of A Enhanced DBS Check

You can get an Enhanced DBS check at Aaron’s Department for £47.95 (£38 Gov. fee & £9.95+VAT admin fee), but this can be reduced further by taking advantage of our Free Admin Credit scheme.

Honest DBS Check Cost with Aaron’s Department

Over many years, we have heavily focused on developing and improving our online system around the customers that use our service to ensure we can provide an easy-to-use and affordable service.

Because of this, and the experience our team has, there is no need to charge over-the-top fees. We believe that no one should be forced into a long-term commitment, which is why we have no sign-up fees, contracts, or hidden costs. We also don’t charge extra for your DBS check to be countersigned and sent off to the DBS service the same day that you send it to us – this is something that should be standard practice. 

Simply pay for what you want, and not a penny more!

If you would like to read more about the service we offer at Aaron’s Department, you can do so by reading our DBS Online Application page.

Should you not want to take advantage of our online system and want to carry on doing paper DBS applications, then no worries! You can view more information about this on our paper application pricing page

Our team is available Monday to Friday, 8 am until 5 pm, on 0113 877 0171 to help answer any queries you may have.

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1 year ago

how much will it cost for a enhanced DBS check for 1 of my employee’s please

Aaron's Department
Aaron's Department
1 year ago

Hi Neil,

Enhanced DBS Checks cost £38 (Government fee) plus £6.95 (Admin fee).
You can read about our prices here: or feel free to give our team a ring on 0113 877 0171 to discuss!