Hourly Cost of Care at Home UK: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

James Bowdler

25 May, 2023

2 min read

In 2024, the hourly cost of in-home care in the UK generally varies from £15 to £35. Independent carers charge as little as £15 per hour, whereas agency carers may cost up to £35 per hour. Trusted platforms typically offer care services at rates between £18 and £20 per hour.

This article is part of our ongoing series on the cost of care and hourly care, so do check those out for a detailed understanding of the cost of care in the UK.

In 2024, Care Agency carers typically cost between £25 and £35 per hour (£350 to £490 a week, based on 2 hours of care each day), Independent carers cost between £15 and £25 per hour (£210 to £350 a week, based on 2 hours of care each day) and Trusted Platforms like PrimeCarers, charge between £16.5 to £25 per hour (£231 to £350 a week, based on 2 hours of care each day).

Bear in mind costs can double for challenging patients and can fall by up to a third for longer visits. For a more accurate estimate, you can check PrimeCarers’ live rate report or use our cost of care calculator.

It is important to note that these costs are averages, and the exact cost can vary depending on the individual’s needs and location.

What is Hourly Care?
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Understanding the Costs of Hourly Home Care in the UK

When evaluating the cost of hourly home care in the UK, three critical factors come into play: your choice of carer source, the complexity of care needed, and the duration of care required. Our cost-of-care calculator provides detailed insights to assist you in these decisions.

The Role of Carer Source on the Cost of Hourly Home Care

There are three standard options for securing care, each with distinct advantages and potential drawbacks:

Care Agencies

Opting for care agencies, while traditionally favoured for their reliability, comes with hourly costs ranging from £25 to £35 per hour. Assuming an average of 2hrs per day, 14hrs per week translates into weekly costs of about £350 to £700 per week.

Pros: Agencies offer a high level of reliability, assuring a carer will be available within a three-hour window, and are especially beneficial for those with high care needs. Learn more about the pros and cons of agency care in our comprehensive guide to the cost of live-in care.

Cons: Agencies often charge up to double that of other options for that guarantee. They limit your control over carer selection and the delivery of care. They may also disrupt the continuity of care due to frequent carer replacements and the introduction of trainees. Independent and Platform carers do not present these issues.

Independent Carers

Selecting independent carers can be a cost-saving alternative, with rates from £15 to £25 per hour. This choice results in a weekly cost of £210 to £350 for 14 hours of care. This is up to half that of agency care.

Pros: Independent carers offer flexibility in cost and a more personalised approach to care. Their reliability issues can be mitigated in situations with lower care needs and when family members can step in if necessary. You can read more about becoming a private carer here.

Cons: The downside to independent carers is their unpredictable availability. They may fail to attend scheduled care or vanish entirely without notice. However, if there’s sufficient warning of their absence, it’s easier to arrange alternative care.


Platforms such as PrimeCarers strike a balance between agency and independent carers. They offer hourly costs from £16.50 to £25, resulting in a weekly cost, for 14 hours of care, of £231 to £350. You can check the live report on the platform’s rates for more details.

Pros: Platforms offer a selection of vetted carers while also handling administrative tasks. They give you the liberty to choose a carer, have control over the care provided, and ensure continuity with the same experienced carer, all at a substantially lower cost than agency carers. Their forte is promptly locating a replacement carer if the existing one can no longer provide care. Platforms can ensure minimal disruption to the care service when the carer’s departure is expected.

Cons: While platforms offer many benefits, they can’t always ensure that a carer can deliver the care they promised, potentially causing scheduling issues. However, this can be mitigated if the level of need is low and families can step in. Reduce the cost of care by 30%-50%; this may be worthwhile.

How the Level of Need Affects the Hourly Cost of Care at Home

The cost of hourly care can be significantly influenced by the complexity of care required. Different aspects contribute to this complexity:

Emotional Labour

Emotional labour is often overlooked in-home care, but it’s crucial to providing high-quality, compassionate care. Care scenarios involving challenging behaviour, mental health conditions, degenerative diseases, or end-of-life situations require high emotional resilience from carers. In these instances, the carer’s role extends beyond physical aid to providing emotional support and companionship. Depending on the intensity of emotional labour, the cost might increase by about 15%-30%.

Physical Labour

The amount of physical assistance required by an individual significantly influences care costs. A more intensive care regimen is needed for individuals needing help with most or all daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, and mobility. This typically means more experienced carers, longer visit durations, or a more significant number of visits, leading to a potential cost increase of approximately 10%-15%.


Your geographical location plays a substantial role in determining the cost of care. Urban areas with a higher cost of living usually mean higher costs for home care. Remote or rural areas, despite having a lower cost of living, may also incur higher care costs due to increased travel time, transportation costs, and the limited availability of carers. Depending on the specific location, this might raise the costs by about 10%-25%.

Experience and Specialisation

Carers with extensive experience, advanced qualifications, or specialised training are in higher demand and charge more for their services. For example, a carer skilled in managing dementia symptoms or those trained in physiotherapy exercises will cost more. Such expertise could increase costs by roughly 20%-30%.

Type of Care

The nature of care needed can also affect the costs. Specialised care needs, such as advanced dementia care, operation of complex medical equipment, or wound care, necessitate expert knowledge and skills, which raises the hourly rate. Depending on the level of complexity, this might increase costs by approximately 20%-40%.

These percentages are rough estimates, as the actual increase will vary depending on various factors, including the specific carer or agency’s pricing structure and the regional market rate for care services.

For a comprehensive guide on live-in care costs, visit this link. And for further details about night-time carers’ costs. These resources should provide a more detailed overview of the factors influencing care costs.

How the Duration of Care Affecting Home Care Costs

The duration of each care visit care impacts the total cost. Long shifts usually cost less per hour by about 10% – 30% as the carer’s travel time per hour is reduced. For instance, a 10-hour shift would cost less per hour compared to a 2-hour shift.

PrimeCarers: Connecting Private Carers with Private Clients

PrimeCarers is a platform that connects private carers with clients seeking personalised care for their loved ones. We offer competitive prices and various services to cater to various needs.

When hiring a self-employed private carer, we aim to help you find the best carers, manage private carers, and handle tax and money responsibilities.

For a more in-depth guide on the cost of live-in care, we invite you to check out our comprehensive guide.


The hourly cost of care at home in the UK depends on the need, quantity of care, and where you find your carers. However, with platforms like PrimeCarers, finding high-quality, affordable carers is simpler.

Whether you need help with elderly mental health, delivering good food and nutrition as a carer, or managing your clients’ incontinence, we have many resources available. You can visit our main blog page for a comprehensive list of our blog posts.

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James Bowdler


I founded and manage PrimeCarers, a Platform that connects Private Clients with Private Carers near them.

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