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, it's staff, and their customers.

Therefore, it's important that companies don't pay over the odds for their DBS applications - 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 important that you're able 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 the cost of a DBS check, how much a DBS should actually be, and where best to get one in 2021.

dbs check prices

DBS Fee From The Government

The first cost that will be part of your application is the fee charged by the Government, which will change depending on the type of DBS requested.

Government Fee costs are as follows:
Basic DBS Check Cost: £23
Standard DBS Check Cost: £23
Enhanced DBS Check Cost: £40

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

However, it is important that you don't pay more than the above prices as the DBS fee (admin fees are separate, which we will get onto later). Over the years, many companies like to add a few extra pounds onto these costs to make a bit of extra money from their customers. A smart business move, or plain greedy? You decide.

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

DBS Check Price 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 the Umbrella Body charges you for using their services, such as their online system, customer support and checking over your application.

So, it is understandable why they 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.

Just a quick look online and you will see 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, in which they charge an extra fee 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, it should just be the norm!

Everyone Should Pay the Same Price

There are many companies out there that offer other businesses discounts based on how many DBS checks they're willing to commit to there and then. Not only is this a clever ploy into trapping a business into their system in the long term, but it also shows a biased preference toward larger firms.

No matter whether they will need 10 checks, or 10,000, businesses shouldn't be charged more simply because they don't need as many checks.

If you are looking to be treated the same no matter your size, and don't want to have to make a "there and then" commitment, it's strongly advised to stay away from the DBS check companies that want to tie you down long term.

Avoid DBS Sign-Up Fees

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

When a firm asks you to pay for 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 sneaky way 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 your business and definitely won't charge you for the pleasure of signing up.

avoid sign up fees

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 Google of "DBS checks" will definitely help you find them.

All prices will be based on the cost of applying for one single DBS check

Competitor 1

Basic DBS Check: £23 with a £10.40 Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £23 with a £10.40 Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £40 with a £10.40 Admin Fee

Competitor 2

Basic DBS Check: £23 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £23 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £40 with a £12 +VAT Admin Fee

Aaron's Department (That's Us!)

Basic DBS Check: £23 with a £6.95 +VAT Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £23 with a £6.95 +VAT Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £40 with a £6.95 +VAT Admin Fee

Competitor 3

Basic DBS Check: £23 with a £20.99 Admin Fee
Standard DBS Check: £23 with a £29.99 Admin Fee
Enhanced DBS Check: £40 with a £24.99 Admin Fee

Look at the range of prices! Whilst it is impossible to comment on the experience and speed of the competitors, in essence, they all offer the same service, but charge you more!

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 £29.95 (£23 Gov. fee & £6.95 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 £29.95 (£23 Gov. fee & £6.95 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 £46.95 (£40 Gov. fee & £6.95 admin fee), but this can be reduced further by taking advantage of our Free Admin Credit scheme.

Cheap, Reliable and Fast DBS Checks 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 ter mcommitment, which is why we have no sign-up fees, contracts, or hidden costs.

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.

Our team is available Monday to Friday, 9am until 5 pm, on 0113 877 0171 to help answer any queries you may have.