What is the best trading platform for the UK? The right trading platform for you depends on your trading needs and goals.
Hundreds of trading platforms have a good track record, but each offers different features, financial assets, and fee structures. As a result, one trading platform may be more suitable for active traders, while another is better for long-term investors, beginners, or different investment options.
After handpicking the best UK trading platforms, you should compare them to find one that best suits your needs and budget. Sounds like a lot of work? Since you’ll be investing your hard-earned money, it’s well worth the effort.
And we are also here to make selecting the right trading platform easier for you! We’ve analyzed the best online brokers in the UK and categorized their trading platforms based on their features to help you make informed decisions quickly.
Top UK Trading Platforms in 2023
We tested the best trading platforms in the UK based on different criteria like fees, accessible markets, account types, trading tools, educational resources, key features, and ease of use.
Here are the trading platforms that stood out for us:
- eToro: Best for social and copy trading
- FreeTrade: Best for commission-free share and ETFs trading
- Interactive brokers: Best for professional traders and institutional investors
- IG markets: Best for moderately experienced CFD traders and professionals
- HYCM: Best for forex and CFD traders who prefer the MT4/5 platform
- AvaTrade: Best for a wide choice of convenient FX trading platforms
- Revolut: Best stock trading platform
- FP Markets: Best for lowest spread FX broker
- Plus500: Best for low-cost preference over advanced functionality
- Pepperstone: Best forex broker for an exceptional trade experience
- Saxo Capital Markets: Best for advanced traders
- Hargreaves Lansdown: Best for ISA investing
- AJBell: Best for SIIP and ISA accounts
- Largest social and copy trading network in the world
- Resourceful educational materials
- 0% commission when trading stocks
- No management fees
- No SIPP or ISA accounts
- Inactivity fees
eToro (UK) Ltd is a multi-asset trading platform regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). With eToro, you can trade various assets, such as stocks, currencies, crypto, indices, commodities, and ETFs.
One of the features you might love most about eToro is its advanced and large social trading network. It allows novice traders to copy the trades of expert and successful traders automatically. On the other hand, experienced traders receive exclusive perks for sharing their trading strategies with the eToro community.
You can open two types of accounts with eToro: general trading and demo accounts. If you’re a beginner or want to test the platform’s features without financial risk, use the free demo account ($100k virtual cash). Unfortunately, eToro doesn’t offer any type of ISA accounts.
The minimum deposit on eToro UK is $50.
Here are the main types of fees you can expect with eToro.
- Conversion fees, spread, and overnight fee
- $10 monthly inactivity fee after 12 months with no trading activity
- Withdrawal fees of $5
- Commission-free shares and ETFs trading
- Pays interest on uninvested cash balances in the non-basic plans
- No trading platform fee on the basic plan
- No minimum deposit
- User-friendly app
- Platform subscription fees can be expensive for small portfolios
- Limited asset classes (no options, crypto, funds, etc.)
FreeTrade is one of the most popular FCA-regulated UK investing apps. It offers a good range of UK, US, and Europe stocks and ETFs at a low cost.
FreeTrade appeals more to anyone wanting mobile-only and commission-free share trading. However, the broker offers a desktop version that’s currently limited to Plus subscription members.
FreeTrade offers three plans that affect the investment options and trading accounts you can access.
- Basic plan: A general investing account without a monthly fee. Access over 1,500 shares.
- Standard plan (£5.99 monthly): Includes an ISA, 6,000+ shares, and a wider range of ETFs.
- Plus plan (£11.99 monthly): Has everything in the standard plan and a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
The fixed platform fees for the plus and standard plans can benefit investors and traders with higher-value portfolios. Most trading platforms charge a percentage-based fee which eats up a good portion of a large portfolio.
- 0.45% currency conversion fee on non-UK shares
- No account, inactivity, or withdrawal fees, but other fees may apply
- Pays $4.08% on uninvested cash
- Low trading fees
- Wide range of investment products
- Strong research and tools
- One first free trade every month
- The platforms might be complex for beginners
Interactive Brokers is a long-standing and award-winning online broker. It offers an advanced trading platform best suited for professional traders and institutional investors. Its flat-rate pricing structure also makes it ideal for large portfolios.
Interactive Brokers offers one of the largest choices in global investments. You can trade stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, and funds from around the globe.
To trade with Interactive Brokers, you can choose one of the available accounts depending on what type of trader you are. The accounts include demo, individual, joint, family advisor, trust, institutional, stocks and shares ISA, and more.
The individual and joint accounts are ideal for retail investors. They have no minimum deposit amounts and no inactivity fee.
Interactive Brokers has a feature-rich trading platform accessible via mobile, web, and desktop.
Interactive Broker Fees
- Commissions: £3/€3 per trade for UK and most European stocks and $0.005 per share for US stocks.
- Monthly Minimum Activity Fee of $3 for stocks and shares ISA
IG Market Pros
- An extensive product catalog
- Long-standing business operations
- A robo-advisory service (five smart portfolios)
- Zero withdrawal fees or inactivity fees for IG Smart Portfolio
IG Market Cons
- Lacks copy trading and back-testing integration
Established in 1974, IG Markets UK is a pioneer in spread betting. It offers award-winning platforms for trading spread bets, CFD, and stockbroking.
IG Markets offers various trading platform options, including its proprietary web-based platform and app. Traders can also access third-party platforms: MetaTrader 4 and ProRealTime.
IG offers over 313,000+ clients worldwide access to 18,000+ financial markets covering forex, indices, shares, commodities, cryptocurrencies, bonds, ETFs, options, industry sectors, and interest rates. So IG Markets is worth checking out if you’re a serious CFD trader who wants a reputable trading platform.
If you want to practice trading CFDs on the platform before investing, IG offers a demo account with £10,000 virtual money.
You can also access smart managed accounts at a 0.72% management fee for up to $50,000. The minimum initial deposit for managed accounts must be above £500.
IG Markets offers the following trading and investment account types.
- Spread betting account
- CFD account
- Share dealing account
- Stocks and shares ISA
- IG smart portfolio account
- IG smart ISA portfolio account
- Automated Expert Advisors
- No withdrawal fee
- Offers demo account for trading CFDs and FX
- Long history in business since 1977
- $10 inactivity fee
- Only forex and CFD products
HYCM is one of the leading UK online FX and CFD services providers. It offers CFDs for currencies, stocks, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities.
Here’s an overview of the offerings:
- Currency pairs: Spreads from 0.1 pips, max. leverage 1:500
- Stocks: max. leverage 1:20, margins from just 5%
- Indices: max. leverage 1:200
- Commodities: max. leverage 1:133
- Cryptocurrencies: max. leverage 1:20
The broker charges a $10 inactivity fee monthly after 90 days of no trading activities.
HYCM offers three trading accounts to match different trading styles and experience levels.
|Account||spreads||Commission||Min. Deposit||Min. Trade Volume||Islamic Account|
|Fixed||Fixed from 1.5pips||$0||$100||0.01||Yes|
|Classic||Variable from 1.2 pips||$0||$100||0.01||–|
|Raw||raw from 0.1 pips +$4||–||$200||0.01||Yes|
HYCM has its proprietary mobile trading platform, HYCM Trader. It also offers MetaTrader 4 for web and desktop trading with the following features.
- 12ms Avg. execution time
- 9 Timeframes
- 23 Analytical objects
- 30 Technical indicators
- Industry average spreads
- No commissions
- Up to 400:1 leverage
- Expert Advisors
- No volume discounts
- High inactivity fee of $50 fee after three months of account inactivity
AvaTrade, established in 2006, is one of the world’s top CFD, crypto, and forex brokers.
It offers CFDs on FX, stocks, commodities, crypto, indices & options. However, Crypto CFDs are not available to UK residents.
The minimum deposit is $100 to trade forex, and the average spread for popular currencies is about 0.9 pips. That’s near the industry’s average, which isn’t bad.
AvaTrade accommodates traders of all skill levels and styles with its range of customizable platforms. You can choose WebTrader, MetaTrader 5, MetaTrader 4, DupliTrade, or AvaOptions.
You can also access quality educational materials, daily market analysis updates, and live webinars.
- Cheaper than most share dealing platforms
- A decent choice of companies
- Offers fractional shares
- Easy to get started
- Set a watchlist and price alerts
- No ISA or pension options
- Limited to shares investing
Want to buy shares for as little as $1? Revolut allows you to buy and sell shares (including fractional shares) from 1,500+ global companies.
Revolut is a digital banking brand that offers savings and investment options.
Revolut’s platform is a good option if you only want to invest in shares. Its mobile-friendly allows you to quickly open an account, deposit money, and start investing in global companies’ shares. You can view a company’s performance and market news on the app and get real-time stock price updates.
The platform offers four pricing tiers that determine how many trades you get monthly and the applicable fees.
- Standard: It’s free and offers one stock trade monthly
- Plus: It costs £2.99 monthly and allows three stock trades per month.
- Premium: Costs £6.99 per month for five stock trades.
- Metal: Costs £12.99 per month and offers unlimited stock trades.
If you’re within your account’s limit, you trade commission-free. Each extra trade beyond your account’s allowance costs £1.
FP Markets Pros
- Expert Advisors (EAs) for trade execution
- Tight spreads
- A suite of automated trading tools
FP Markets Cons
- Higher minimum deposit on advanced platform accounts
FP Markets is a forex and CFD broker that offers access to global financial markets at competitive rates.
FP Markets offers 10,000+ tradable CFD products across forex, shares, metals, indices, commodities & bonds. Trading at FP Markets occurs on any of the five available trading platforms: MT4, MT5, Iress, Webtrader, and Mobile App. Each option offers advanced charting tools, real-time news, market data, and technical analysis.
The minimum deposit is $100, and leverage options are up to 30:1.
FP Markets is one of the competitive FX and CFD brokers that offer tight spreads from 0.0 pips. It also offers automated trading tools for automatic trade execution.
You can sign up for the demo trading account to practice your strategies or test the FP Markets trading platforms.
There are two trading account options, standard and raw, that determine your spreads and commission fees. Standard account spreads start as low as 0.0 pips with zero commission. Raw accounts commission starts from $3.
- Over 2,800 CFDs
- Free demo account
- Easy-to-use and functional proprietary trading platform
- Leverage of up to 1:300
- Guaranteed stop-loss orders
- No MT4/5
- No auto-trading options
- No back-testing functionality
If you’re a technically-oriented CFD trader who incorporates third-party analytical and automation tools into a platform, Plus500 might not appeal to you. It’s a simple and functional trading platform provided by a solid and publicly listed company.
Plus500 LTD is one of the few brokerages listed on the London stock exchange.
The trading platform is designed for traders who simply want to execute trades without needing advanced and third-party features. It offers access to 2800+ CFDs across different asset classes, including indices, shares, forex, commodities, crypto, ETFs, and options.
The minimum deposit is $100 but can vary depending on the payment method used.
Plus500 offers an easy-to-use WebTrader platform with fundamental features like watchlists, charts, order types, and trade monitoring. It’s easily accessible from different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Here’s an overview of trading with Plus500.
- Fees: Spread, overnight fees, inactivity fees, and currency conversion
- Free real-time quotes
- No commissions
- Several easy-to-use platform offerings
- Negative balance protection
- Leverage up to 500:1
- No guaranteed stop loss
Pepperstone is one of the best UK trading platforms to consider if you want an overall great trading experience. Want advanced functionality, competitive pricing, or platform options? Pepperstone has it all!
It offers forex and CFD trading across different asset classes, including stocks, indices, commodities, crypto, and ETFs. For trading platform choice, Pepperstone offers MT4/5 and cTrader. You can access advanced technical features, including detachable charts and back-testing.
The minimum balance is 200 units of the base currency.
Pepperstone fees include spread, commissions, and swaps. However, the account option you opt for determines your trading fees. The standard account offers FX spreads starting from one pip without any commission, while the razor account offers zero spread with a commission.
Pepperstone doesn’t charge dormant or inactivity fees, which is rare in the FX and CFD industry.
Disclaimer: 74.7% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider.
- Extensive range of offerings
- Negative balance protection
- Extensive and resourceful research materials
- Superior user interface on trading platforms
- Lacks MT4
- The fees structure can be confusing
Saxo Capital Market, founded in 1992, is a good option for experienced traders seeking an extensive catalog. It offers leveraged and investment products across forex, shares, ETFs, commodities, indices, options, bonds, forwards, and futures.
The minimum initial deposit depends on the account type. The classic account requires £500, Platinum £200,000, and VIP account £1,000,000. These high account minimums would hinder smaller retail traders, making Saxo ideal for advanced investors, professionals, and institutions.
Saxo offers its proprietary trading platforms SaxoTraderPRO (downloadable) and SaxoTraderGO (web-based). Users can integrate third-party tools into their trading process and use APIs to develop apps.
Hargreaves Lansdown Pros
- Plenty of investment options
- Great educational tools for different skill levels
- No withdrawal fees
Hargreaves Lansdown Cons
- No demo account is available
- Fees can be quite high for ETFs
- Not the cheapest investment platform
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK’s largest and most comprehensive investment platform, providing retail investors with a range of financial products and services. It manages over £120bn in investments for more than 1.6 million customers. While it has a solid reputation and history, it’s not the cheapest, with a 0.45% platform charge.
It offers various investment options, including stocks and shares, funds, investment trusts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and more.
The platform is suitable for traders of all levels. You can access quality educational resources on the company’s website. However, Hargreaves Lansdown doesn’t offer a demo account.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers a good range of account options to suit different investing needs.
- Stocks and shares ISA
- Junior ISA
- Lifetime ISA
- Self-invested personal pension
- Junior SIPP
- Share dealing account
- Active savings
If you want a hands-off approach to investing, Hargreaves Lansdown offers expert-managed investment options.
AJ Bell Pros
- Offers ISA accounts
- Lots of different investment options
AJ Bell Cons
- Limited learning tools and resources
- The platform might be tricky for beginners
AJ Bell is a reputable investment platform offering a wide choice of investments, including shares, funds, and investment trusts. It manages over £40 billion for 150,000 clients.
And the good range of product options is impressive, including ISAs, pensions, and junior products.
- Stocks and shares ISA
- Lifetime ISA (LISA)
- Junior ISA (JISA)
- Junior SIPP
- Junior share dealing account
- Self-invested personal pension (SIPP)
- Platinum SIPP
There are a few risks associated with online trading platforms, for instance, data breaches, identity theft, and virtual attacks. Even if you choose a reputable and secure trading platform, you still need to take some steps to stay safe when accessing your account, for instance:
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Choose a strong password
- Use reliable antivirus and anti-spyware software to defend against spyware, malware, viruses, and other threats.
- Invest in self-education about trading and investing
- Beware of “pump and dump” schemes
Choosing the right online trading platform is crucial for every trader or investor. The trading platform you choose will affect your experience and financial goals.
We are confident that you can’t go wrong with any of the 13 best UK trading platforms we have reviewed in this guide. And there is an option for everyone, whether you want a stock trading platform, a managed investment portfolio, or FX and CFD trading platform.
eToro is our pick for the best online trading platform for social trading in the UK. It has one of the largest social trading communities and a good product range across the major markets.
The requirements for opening an account with an online trading platform in the UK can vary depending on the broker of your choice. However, most will require personal information and documents like full name, photo ID, email address, phone number, bank account details, and national insurance number.
Most online trading platforms don’t charge account opening fees.
You should consider several factors to choose the best share dealing platforms in the UK. These include regulation, security, reputation, fees, key trading features, stock market options, account types, and educational resources.
Always start by defining your trading and investment goals to ensure you select a platform that will help you accomplish them.
You don’t need thousands of dollars to start investing. You can find zero-fee trading platforms that offer fractional shares and start investing in the stock market with as little as $1.
A trading platform is not the same as a broker. A trading platform is a software or web-based application that allows traders to access financial markets and execute trades. It provides tools and resources for technical analysis, charting, and monitoring of financial instruments.
On the other hand, an online broker is a company that acts as an intermediary between traders and financial markets. They allow traders to buy and sell financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and currencies. Essentially online brokers and other financial players like banks provide trading platforms.
While some brokers develop their proprietary trading platforms, others offer third-party platforms, giving traders more choices in selecting the platform that best suits their needs.
Retail investor accounts are designed for someone investing for their personal needs, not on behalf of others. Retail investors typically invest smaller amounts compared to professional and institutional investors.
With a trading platform, you can buy and sell financial assets like stocks, bonds, currencies, crypto, commodities, indices, and ETFs. A good trading platform will have different features to help you place orders, monitor positions, analyze market data, automate trades, and access advanced trading tools.