How Much Does a Topographical Survey Cost?

Welcome to our latest blog post, where we dive deep into topographic survey costs. At Bury Associates, we are often asked about the costs involved in conducting a topographical survey. In this post, we'll explore the factors that influence these land survey costs and provide some insight into what you can expect to pay for a topographical survey.

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A 3D scanner set up to survey Lord's Cricket Ground, London.

What Affects the Cost of a Land Survey?

Surveying is a cost-intensive business, requiring state-of-the-art software and equipment such as laser scanners and survey-grade GPS systems. Besides design software, we invest in specialised software to process survey data, register point clouds, and convert photography into high-resolution 3D models. This advanced, memory-intensive software necessitates powerful computers that far exceed the capabilities of an average home PC.

Moreover, our topographic surveying team’s software licences cost nearly £2,000 each per year. Our laser scanners and GPS systems, essential for delivering precise surveys, cost upwards of £35,000 and £20,000 respectively.

Investing in the best equipment, software, and team members ensures that we deliver top-quality surveys. While quality comes at a cost, our customers' consistent satisfaction and loyalty affirm that our land survey fees are well worth paying.

How Much Is A Land Surveyor?

The average cost of Land Survey depends on:

1. Location and Accessibility

The location of your site plays a significant role in determining the cost. Sites that are remote or difficult to access may incur additional travel or accommodation expenses.

2. Scope and Complexity

The size of the land and the intricacies of the terrain can impact the time and resources needed for the survey. More complex sites require more intensive surveying and, hence, may cost more.

3. Data Processing and Modelling

Post-survey, significant effort goes into processing the collected data. The use of advanced software for accurate modelling is a key part of this phase and the time this takes contributes to the overall cost.

4. Equipment and Technology

The use of high-quality equipment like laser scanners and GPS systems ensures precision and affects the time the site work will take to complete. Remember, the better your surveyor is equipped, the quicker they will complete the survey.

5. Expertise and Experience

The skill and experience of the surveying team are crucial. A highly skilled team, while potentially more expensive, can provide more accurate and reliable results.

6. Business Operating Costs

This includes costs such as salaries, rent, equipment, software, and insurance.

7. Profit

This essential component enables us to maintain the highest quality of service and resources.

What does a Land Survey Cost?

In the UK, for a small local topographical survey costs can start at around £500+VAT, but you should expect to pay more than that for most surveys. Generally, you should expect to pay around £500 per man-day that a project takes. For instance, a topographic survey of a 0.5 hectare site might take 1 day on site and 1 day in the office and cost £1000+VAT. This estimate is a starting point and can vary based on the aforementioned factors, but that price would cover both the site survey and the subsequent data processing and drawing creation.

Surveying Drone Cost

How much to survey land by drone?

We often use drones to help carry out large topographic land surveys or to survey inaccessible areas. Fees for topographical surveys are based on the size and complexity of the site. Drones generally reduce the cost of surveying large areas but other factors such as long grass and dense vegetation will necessitate some ground-based survey activity too.

How to Save Money on The Cost of Your Topographical Land Survey

1. Be Specific About Your Requirements

Clearly defining your survey requirements can reduce both the field and office time, thereby lowering the overall land survey costs. Specify the level of detail and the areas where you need more comprehensive data to help with pricing.

2. Be Careful When Defining The Topographic Survey Area

If possible, limit the survey area to only what is necessary for your project. This can significantly cut down the time and resources needed for the survey. Very often, vague lines are drawn around a site, including neighbouring land that isn't really needed. This adds significantly to the cost.

3. Prepare the Site

Ensuring the site is accessible and clear of obstructions can make the survey process more efficient and less costly. If your site is heavily overgrown then get it cleared before your Land Surveyor arrives. This will lower the cost and ensure you have the correct ground levels. The boundary survey will be crucial, so our land surveyors will need borders and any other important topographic features to be clear of obstructions.

4. Choose the Right Land Survey Company

Selecting a company with topographical surveyors that have the right expertise and insurance is essential. While it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, this could lead to compromised quality and accuracy.


Understanding the factors that affect topographical land survey cost is essential for budgeting your project effectively. At Bury Associates, we pride ourselves on providing detailed, accurate, and cost-effective land surveys. If you need to know how much you can expect for a land survey, contact us now for your topographical survey quote.