Freetrade prices are delayed. Still!

Another week, another transaction, another issue with Freetrade. They yet again execute at a different price to that which I agree to. their excuse will be that the execution price shown is “an estimate” - but “estimates” are useless and the spread in difference is ridiculous! Why is it so hard for Freetrade to quote the CORRECT price before you agree to sell or buy (like all other platforms do!)? For this reason alone i’m put off using them as my main trading platform.

It is all well gone introducing fancy features like fractional shares, but why don’t Freetrade sort out the basic fundamentals first!? Their refusal to address this issue makes me suspect that they take a cut of the difference.


I’m not an expert but isn’t the nature of a market order that you will only get a price close to what you see when you submit the order?

Was the price volatile at the point you placed the order?

What do you mean by CORRECT price? :sweat_smile:

Freetrade works on mid price and a 15min delay.

Even if it switched to showing the best current bid/ask and real-time like its main rival, it still doesn’t mean you’ll guarantee the price you see (unless you have a limit order to specify the max you want to pay per share, or the min you want to sell for)


Appreciate your frustration but this assertion is just wrong. This isn’t just my opinion, their annual accounts suggest otherwise and support this.

You’re being caught out by movements in the market and a lack of tools on the platform (though currently on their way) to mitigate this. It’s simply not that case the Freetrade are either swindling or failing clients through poor trade execution.


Richard I run a quote on HL and then immediately run it through FT. I never find a difference. The price shown is not the price at all. It is the median of the spread and less liquid stocks and in volatile trading times can result in significant differences. Freetrade are a work in progress and unsuitable for small margin swing traders. They might be suitable in a year or so. I hope you stick around it’s a great app and community here, but Rome wasnt built in a day. :slightly_smiling_face:


I thought it was the last executed price?

1 Like

It’s essentially an old mid price, if you lined up all the bids and asks in order, and then took the middle number (or for even numbers took the two most middle and divided by 2) that would be it.

Freetrade only receive the single mid figure from the data provider, so all they are saying is look its around this up to 15mins ago. We’ll get you the best price we can now.

On any stock you can see how out of date it is by looking at the Data source and Price shown.

So in this screenshot it’s what the mid price was at 16 mins past.


Would it be helpful if the bid/ask spread was also quoted, then you would get an idea of how far off the mid price your trade was likely to be?


To be fair to the OP I’ve never traded anywhere where you don’t get 15 or so seconds to accept the price before trading.

I’m sure there’s no issues legally but it does seem strange you get an estimate of cost and not actual cost, especially in the financial world where everything is pretty much regulated to the nth degree.

Doesn’t bother me too much as I don’t trade, but from an outsider perspective I can see how it looks a little opaque.


with this 15 minute delay, does that mean you see a 15 minute old price but when you place an order you get the current market price? Its not delayed price on orders surely? I was noticing this today while waiting for something to bottom, i was watching it on TV and then when the price on the order form (screen with the amount entry and the confirmation screen) would finally catch up, i would buy. By then the price was back up 1% and i got the current price shown on free trade even when the order confirmation had the lower price.

@BramblerJohn makes a good point, I’d like to see a bid / ask. Otherwise there is no way of knowing the spread (and therefore an idea of the price you will pay / receive) without using another provider.

That would be a start but eventually I’d hope to see a 15 second period to accept / decline a guaranteed price before the trade goes through.

Pretty sure the price you get is the best market price at the point you place the order, regardless of any previous delayed indication of price.

1 Like

It’s been previously stated that you get the spot price at the time of execution of the order, which only makes sense as you are trading with one of the bid/asks on the exchange.

Yeah so you are seeing the mid price at whatever time it’s showing next to “price shown is the market at”.

With a market order you are just getting the best ask or best bid at that time. There’s no one price or correct price :sweat_smile:

On a fairly liquid stock you would expect a few bids and asks at any point. It’s worth looking at Freetrades execution policy.

Anyway yeah the have a quote for 15 seconds to accept is a legacy thing some brokers still do like AJ Bell. You don’t get US brokers doing that it’s just a UK quirk afaik.

Most modern platforms like Freetrades main rival just show the best ask and it’s real time. If you have Level 2 you can obviously see the order book directly of what’s actually going on.

Freetrade is a bit weird in this regard. I guess it was done to keep it super simple?

Oh God, we’re going down this track again

Order execution is correct. Categorically, unequivocally. You got the correct price for your stock. Always. Best Ex rules apply. Uk stocks go via RSP. That guarantees Best Ex.

FT price is ‘last trade’. No bid/offer/mid. Last trade. Usually delayed. (Clues in the name ‘last’ trade)

More illiquid. More likely delayed.

More illiquid more likely a wider spread.

It is confusing for newbies but be aware of it and DYOR

Check this forum for historic complaints. Every one of them can be proved inaccurate with data and logic.

If you’re a little confused, I sympathise, it is undoubtedly a little unclear to newer investors.

If you’re convinced you got screwed and you’re price is wrong, I do not sympathise. You are 99% likely to be wrong as only a horrendous technical error could lead to such an event.

If anyone wants to detail the asset purchased/sold, date, time etc then I will gladly look at the market data and provide feedback



This should be pinned!

1 Like

I even made a super simple, super slow, but moderately accurate price estimator for LSE stocks to ‘help’

Change the ticker get a different result
During LSE market hours only
Helps massively with wide spread, illiquid stocks as it looks at Ordinary (O) and Automatic (AT) trades running through the market and ‘deduces’ what the real ‘live’ Bid/Offer spread is likely to be.
Tested it a bit and it’s pretty accurate.
Or at least more accurate than ‘last trade’ as it looks at liquidity and any RSP price improvements taking place.


It’s definitely mid price of all the bids and asks, not last trade (buy or sell) :wink:

They get this single mid price from their data provider. All Freetrade do is display it, it comes with a timestamp of when that was calculated and put next to “Price shown is the market at X”.

It’s not a constant 15 min away from the current time, it’s just being provided every 15mins. So it could be between 0 seconds and 15mins out of date at any point.

Still pretty sure it’s last trade
Every one I’m testing right now appears to be ‘last’

Need to test on wide spread, illiquid stocks to see a clearer picture, but pretty sure it will turn out to be ‘last’

Stay tuned

It’s Last Trade

Tested VCP as it has a decent spread. 215 - 225. Therefore Mid would be 220
However FT is displaying 222


Because 222 was the Last Trade


Testing this theory across a range of other stocks with wider spreads so the results are clearer.

Satisfied it is Last Trade

For UK stocks at least

1 Like