TrustATrader or Checkatrade which is better?


TrustaTrader or Checkatrade? Directories or referral sites? Listings, and catalogues? What are they and do they all do the same thing? Well yes, they all aim to advertise businesses through their platform. The objective remains the same, yet the method has changed drastically. 

Once upon a time, we kept those thick yellow books stuffed into a drawer. The Yellow Pages were a staple for finding people, businesses, contact information, and more. 

However, we have now gone from those hefty books to the internet. Everything we used to search for, dog-eared or highlighted, can now be found on directory websites. 

So, what we’re trying to say is that it’s time to get your business where your customers are searching! The only thing you now need to decide is where. As the internet can initially feel like a minefield, we’re here to help navigate you to not only get your business on these sites, but we’ll help guide you on which one to do it through too. 


What are Directory Sites? 

Directory sites are essentially one place where you can find everything you need about a business. They offer list upon list of companies, all categorised by niche, location, activity or size. 

Now, you are probably wondering why you need this, right? The thing with tradespeople is they usually gain leads through word of mouth, which is great but not sustainable. With trade directory sites, you set it up, put in all your information, and then sit back and let them do the work for you. So you don’t have to go chasing leads, and you don’t have to rely on others to do the advertising. 

Not only do these sites do the work, but they also provide a reputable name that helps carry your business. What we mean is that people trust directories, they feel confident when using tradespeople they find here. 

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To use these sites to their full potential, comparing the different ones out there is worthwhile. Luckily, we have already done it for you. So keep reading to see the key differences between two of the main trade directories: TrustATrader and Checkatrade. 

We’re also going to be creating more of these guides to help you navigate the trade directory spider web.

Let’s get started!



TrustATrader works by putting customers in touch with reliable tradespeople. It checks out tradesmen and women before listing them on the site, creating a safe space for people to find you. This creates visibility for your business and adds security for the customer, making them more likely to use you against someone they heard about from their next-door neighbour. 


We are also aware that money is hard-earned. If you’re going to spend it on something, you want to ensure it is worth it! So, here we will talk you through the cost of using TrustATrader and how the benefits of the site weigh up against its price. 

The cost of using TrustATrader usually depends on your trade area. Where you are based will determine how much you pay, but you can expect it to be around £600-£1,000. The only way to get an exact figure for your account’s cost is by phoning TrustATrader, who will give you an annual price.  

At first, this sounds expensive – we know. However, when you break it down it’s not so bad. So let’s go for the middle range at £800 for the year. That works out at £67 a month, £17 a week, which is £2.40 a day. So for your £2.40 a day, you get to rest easy knowing everything will be sorted for you; from providing you with a professional presence to represent your business, to helping new customers find you online, plus demonstrating your trustworthiness and generating online payments – there’s not much more you could ask for! 

So, when focusing on cost, we believe you should spend money to earn money, it’s called return on investment (ROI). 

TrustaTrader Screenshot

How Easy is it to Use? 

The next thing you’re probably wondering is, if I am going to spend money on listing my business, how easy is it to use, and how much of my time do I need to put into it? Because let’s be honest, if you’re paying money for a service, you don’t want to be doing much of the work yourself – we get it! 

Being totally up front with you, the most challenging part about using TrustATrader is setting up your account. At first, you will need to provide the site with a minimum of 5 references, proof of insurance documents and have completed their sign-up paperwork. Although all this is usually done over the phone, it’s pretty straightforward. Once everything has been checked off their list, it usually takes around 2-3 weeks for your application to be processed; after that, you’re good to go!

With these directory sites, you’re paying for the name they carry. Basically, TrustATrader has an excellent score on Trustpilot and with that comes customer security. Imagine if your business was advertised on some random website with no reviews, it’s pretty unlikely that people are going to feel assured when using you. So, it costs, and there are things you need to do to set it up, but it’s certainly better than cutting corners and wasting time chasing leads that aren’t going to happen. 


Does it Work?

This is the all-important question and the one you’re probably most interested in finding out. But, unfortunately, you’re likely to be a little disappointed with the answer because truthfully, it’s hard to measure. 

For some tradespeople, they swear by TrustATrader. People in the trade have been known to get between £10k-£15k a year just from using this site. Because they limit the number of businesses they have on the site, you stand a pretty good shot at getting work. However, ultimately it is down to the market at the time. It’s like anything with trade, some days are better than others. 

When deciding whether or not TrustATrader works, we would say it’s better than doing nothing. Look at it this way, if someone aims to sell something, whether a product or service, people aren’t going to buy it unless they know it exists. So you can either sit around and wait for work to come to you, or you can get yourself on these sites and rest easy knowing you’re doing all you can to make yourself visible. 

After listing on these sites, you can use their logo on your work. Whether you choose to put this on the side of your van, on your paperwork or website, this lets people know that you’re a trusted tradesperson recognised by TrustATrader – its a win, win! 

Trade Industry Websites



TrustATrader was set up to compete directly with Checkatrade, so the latter has been around much longer – meaning its name is better known, and its position in the market remains strong. 

Checkatrade is the original online directory for tradespeople, so it is the one that usually comes to mind when talking about referral sites. With 1.4 million users, this is an excellent site allowing those in the trade to advertise their business to a substantial monthly audience. 

(Checkatrade homepage screenshot)



The first thing to cover is cost. Checkatrade is free to sign up for tradespeople – winner! However, with the free membership, you don’t get access to more profile features or the job support you would get from paying a membership fee. 

When deciding to pay for a membership, like its rival, Checkatrade also works on a subscription basis regarding cost. For some reason, it is hard to find exact figures for both sites, mainly because their prices differ depending on the trade, area and type of advertisement you are aiming for. The costs for this site vary widely, but as a rough figure, expect to pay anywhere up to £1,000 a year (plus VAT). 

We also know that those in the trade typically offer more than one speciality. For example, general builders may provide plumbing services, electrician services and so on. The issue here is that with Checkatrade if you want to advertise more than one business in different areas, you may have to pay their subscription fee twice. Although this seems a little counterproductive because you are still one business offering a range of things, it does mean that you get seen on more search lists, resulting in higher chances of visibility. 

The best thing to do when seeking a cost for Checkatrader is to ring the site directly. This way, you can have a conversation to explain precisely what you aim to use the site for, which will result in obtaining a specific subscription fee. 

Cost Analysis - Directories

How Easy is it to Use? 

In short, it’s pretty easy! Time is money, and when seeking to get up and running on a referral site, there is nothing worse than spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to set it up. Luckily, Checkatrade seems to have nailed it as they have made this process quick. 

A background check still needs to be listed on the site, but this is done over the phone – way better than filling out form after form! They will talk through things like proof of accreditations, references and insurance. Once this is done, Checkatrade can help you set up your profile, usually by a face-to-face consultation, making the whole process super easy, efficient and less stressful! 

Being the original referral site means that Checkatrade has had more time to refine its services, making the process easy. Once your profile is up and running, you just need to ensure it shines against any competition in your area. A well-written description, proof of appropriate checks, business logo, high-quality images, insurance, accreditations and references will help put you ahead of other tradespeople.

Not only is Checkatrade straightforward for those listing their business, but it is also easy to use for those searching. Many other referral sites work by customers filling out forms to help them find the right tradesperson they are looking for. With Checkatrade, the customer can contact you directly, so those in urgent need of tradespeople are likely to go to Checkatrade for a quicker and easier process.  


Does it Work? 

The biggest thing that Checkatrade has over TrustATrader and other trade directory sites is brand recognition. Not only do they spend a lot of money on advertising, but their many years in the market have allowed them to build a strong name and one that is trusted. 

With 90% of their customers subscribing yearly, the simple answer to this question is yes, it does work. Any good business will only continue to spend money if they can see results, and with a figure as good as 90%, results are happening! 

Its quick and easy use makes it simple for customers to leave reviews, meaning those in the trade can build a strong reputation without chasing leads. Checkatrades longevity, brand recognition and straightforward process are all things that get results. 

Tradesman a on site


Several other great referral sites are out there, such as My Builder, Rated People, Which? Trusted Traders, Bark and more. They all work towards advertising your trade whilst providing customers with security and peace of mind that they are getting a reputable person for the job. 

Deciding which is the best one for you ultimately comes down to preference. Some sites do it better than others, with easy features, better rates, and lower costs. It all depends on what you want to get out of them. TrustATrader or Checkatrade, it’s up to you!

Our advice? Get on as many as you can. Not only do they provide a platform that customers trust, but they also help boost SEO rankings for your trade business, meaning you stand a better chance of being seen on page one of Google. Some people use them all, others just use one. But the more places you are listed, the higher visibility you will have! 

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