virtual pa ukWhy are UK virtual assistants so expensive?  This is a hot topic within the VA community.  Even in the UK there is a big difference in what a VA will charge per hour.  I’ve lost out of a few clients purely down to costs.  They have seen they can get the work done cheaper by using someone overseas.  Here is why I believe it is more cost effective using a UK virtual assistant who is charging more per hour.

So what do UK virtual assistants charge?

In a recent survey conducted by the Society of Virtual Assistants (SVA), they found the average rate of a UK virtual assistant was £24.35 per hour.  The lowest charging VA was £8 per hour, all the way up to £100.  From the research I conducted when starting my business, and from the VAs I have met along the way, most fall within the £20-45 per hour bracket.

But I can get it cheaper using someone overseas…

Yes, you can.  I’ve seen prices starting from $3 an hour.  But there are a lot of things to consider when using an overseas virtual assistant:

Time Zones

If you opt to use an overseas virtual assistant they could potentially be 8 hours ahead of you.  What if you need something doing urgently or need to speak to them?  Do you need them to contact your customers and clients?  How will you manage with the time difference?

Language Barrier

No matter their level of education, unless their first language is English, you will hit issues.  It may be that the translation of the work you are receiving isn’t fluid, or maybe they didn’t fully understand the brief you gave.  Do they understand the UK market, acronyms, abbreviations etc?  You could potentially spend more time correcting the work yourself or spending more money getting it done again.

Before I launched my business, I was offered a part time role.  The company outsourced their dictations to a company based in India who would transcribe the work.  Part of my job was then to proof and amend the documents.  I couldn’t get my head around why they needed to outsource in the first place.  In the time it would take me to proof, question anything with the originator and amend the documents, I could have transcribed it from scratch.

Data Protection

An organisation that processes any personal data is required to register with the Information Commissioners Office and ensure all personal data is handled in accordance with the data protection principles.

If you outsource any work or allow access to personal data to an external company, you remain responsible for ensuring the processing of the data compiles with the Data Protection Act.  If you are outsourcing to an overseas organisation outside of the European Economic Area, as the data controller you are responsible for ensuring adequate security measures are in place for handling personal data.

In the survey conducted by SVA, they reported that 62% of UK virtual assistants are registered for Data Protection.  You will remain responsible as the data controller, however, by using a virtual assistant who is registered with ICO will ensure they comply and have put adequate steps in place to ensure personal data is handled appropriately.


So you’ve found someone in the Philippines who only charges $5 an hour.  But what happens if they make a big mistake in your material that could potentially lose business or money because of their mistake?  Are they insured for you to be able to make a claim?  If they do have insurance in place, will it cover the same level of claim as you could make in the UK?  In a survey conducted by SVA, they found that 78% of UK virtual assistants have professional indemnity insurance in place.  Are you willing to take the risk?

Ok but I’ve still seen UK virtual assistants who charge less…

There are websites such as PeoplePerHour and Upwork where you can submit requests and users bid for the work.  But you run the same risks as using an overseas virtual assistant.  Do they have insurance?  Are they registered for Data Protection?  Anyone can join these sites by answering a few questions.  PPH in particular have very strict rules of engagement, meaning all communication has to go via their site.  Do you really know who you are outsourcing to?  You won’t be able to speak to them directly and PPH doesn’t qualify they have the skill set and experience they are advertising.

virtual pa uk

11 reasons why you should be using an independent UK virtual assistant

  • 78% have professional indemnity insurance
  • 62% are registered with ICO for Data Protection
  • They are responsible for paying their own tax, national insurance, pension, benefits etc
  • You only pay for the hours they are physically working – not when they are on holiday or off sick
  • You don’t have to pay for their systems, equipment, phone line, and registrations (unless specific to your company)
  • They are highly skilled so the only training they will need is anything that is specific to your business
  • They are more likely to have a great internet connection and use security systems to protect your information and work
  • It is likely they have come from a corporate background and will have a high level of experience and knowledge behind them
  • A UK VA is running their own business, so will understand and appreciate what is involved in the day to day tasks of running a business
  • They are likely to have a good grasp on the British economy, rules and laws
  • Being in the UK means they are working in the same time zone as you and your customers

Once you find the right virtual assistant for your business, you will see the many benefits they can bring , not only by freeing up your time.

If you are looking to use the services of a virtual assistant and want to find out ways that I could help save you time, please contact me on 07538 715537 or email