If you’re based in the UK and looking to trade online, you’ll need to find a suitable provider that meets your needs.
We find that the best online trading platforms in the UK offer low fees, lots of supported markets, user-friendly features, and great customer support. And of course, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen trading platform is regulated by the FCA.
In this guide, we review the best trading platform UK of 2021.
Best Trading Platform UK List
If you don’t have time to read our reviews in full, below you will find the best trading platform UK for 2021 and the other top brokers.
- eToro – Overall Best Trading Platform UK
- Libertex – Low-Cost UK Trading Platform with ZERO Spreads
- Fineco Bank – Best Trading Platform UK for International Assets
- Skilling – UK Online Broker With Spreads Starting at 0.1 Pip
- Capital.com – Best Online Broker UK for AI Trading
- Plus500 – UK CFD Broker with Tight Spreads
- IG – Best UK Trading Platform UK for Long-Term Investments
- Hargreaves Lansdown – Long Standing UK Broker with ISAs
- Pepperstone – Best UK Trading Platform for Spread Betting
Best UK Trading Platforms Reviewed
With so many UK trading platforms available in the online arena, knowing which provider to sign up with can be challenging.
You’ll want to research specific metrics about the broker before signing up – such as what commissions it charges, what assets you can trade, and how user-friendly the platform is.
To save you countless hours of research, below you will find a selection of the best UK trading platforms in the market right now.
1. eToro – Overall Best Trading Platform UK
Launched in 2007, eToro is an online trading platform with more than 17 million clients and is our pick for the best online trading platform UK. This top-rated platform allows you to trade a wide range of asset classes at the click of a button.
This includes more than 2,400 stocks from 17 UK and international stock markets, 250+ ETFs (exchange-traded funds), 16 cryptocurrencies, and thousands of CFDs. Regarding the latter, this includes everything from gold and silver to oil and forex.
Each and every marketplace offered by eToro can be traded commission-free. This means that the only trading ‘fee’ you need to factor in is the spread. There are no annual maintenance fees either, and deposits cost you just 0.5%. After all, you can trade UK and foreign assets without needing to worry about currency conversion fees.
This works by selecting a verified trader, choosing how much you wish to invest (minimum $200), and then all ongoing trades will be mirrored in your own eToro portfolio. If you’re looking to trade smaller amounts, eToro requires a minimum stake of $25 of cryptocurrencies, $50 on stocks, and $200 on ETFs.
When it comes to safety, eToro is authorized and regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is also licensed by regulators in Cyprus and Australia. Crucially, by opening an account with eToro, your funds are covered by the FSCS. Finally, this cheap trading platform UK supports a good selection of payment methods – including debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets like Paypal.
eToro also offers an excellent mobile app with the full functionality of the desktop platform.
|Stock trading fee||Free|
|Forex trading fee||Spread, 2.1 pips for GBP/USD|
|Crypto trading fee||Spread, 0.75% for Bitcoin|
|Inactivity fee||$10 a month after one year|
- Super user-friendly online broker and trading platform
- Trade thousands of assets with tight spreads
- 100% commission-free
- You can also trade stocks, indices, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and more
- Deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account
- Social trading and copy trading
- Regulated by the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC
- Not suitable for advanced traders that like to perform technical analysis
67% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
2. Libertex – Low-Cost UK Trading Platform with ZERO Spreads
Libertex is a CFD trading platform that is popular with UK traders that seek low fees and commissions. At the forefront of this is the platform’s zero spread offering. This means that irrespective of which asset you decide to trade, there is no gap between the buy and sell price.
Consequently, this allows you to benefit from industry-leading quotes. Additionally, although Libertex charges a commission on each side of the trade, this is often very low. In fact, commissions at this virtual trading platform UK often sit below 0.1% per order.
As a prime example, popular forex pair NZD/USD can be traded with a commission of just 0.012%. In terms of supported markets, Libertex offers CFDs on stocks, commodities, and currencies. As a CFD specialist, you can apply leverage on any trade of your choosing.
This falls in line with FCA limits, meaning you’ll be capped to 1:30 on major forex trading pairs and less on other instruments. All CFD markets at Libertex also come with the option of going long or short. This allows you to profit from both rising and falling markets. Libetex offers two trading platforms that you can choose from.
This includes Meta Trader 4 and its own platform that was built in-house. Both options can be accessed online or via a mobile app. In the case of MT4 trading platforms, this can be downloaded to your desktop device – which is the route you will need to take if you want to install an automated robot.
If you like the sound of Libertex, you can open an account in minutes. The minimum deposit is just £100 and you use a UK debit/credit card, bank account transfer, or an e-wallet. Once you have funded your account for the first time, all future deposits come at a minimum of just £10.
When it comes to safety, we should note that Libertex isn’t regulated by the FCA. However, it is regulated by leading EU license issuers CySEC. Plus, Libertex has been offering online trading and financial services since 1997. As such, the provider has an accomplished track record that now spans over two decades.
|Stock trading fee||Commission scheme — between 01.5% and 0.2%|
|Forex trading fee||Commission scheme — from 0.008% in EUR/USD|
|Crypto trading fee||Commission scheme — between 0.1% and 0.2%|
- Zero spread CFD trading
- Very competitive commissions – starting from 0% upwards
- Good educational resources
- Long established broker
- Compatible with MT4
- Great choice of markets
- CFDs only
83% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
3. Fineco Bank – Best UK Trading Platform for International Assets
If you’re looking to create a portfolio that covers both UK and international assets, Fineco Bank could be the way to go. This European financial institution has attracted a strong following in the UK trading scene for several reasons.
Firstly, Fineco Bank offers a huge library of financial markets. This covers traditional assets, like stocks, ETFs, and funds. Not only does this include companies on the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, but AIM stocks, too.
Further afield, Fineco gives you access to dozens of non-UK exchanges. This includes markets in the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, and more. If you’re also interested in a shorter-term day trading strategy, Fineco offers thousands of CFD markets. On top of stocks, this includes forex, hard metals, energies, indices, and more.
These CFD instruments come with the added benefit of leverage and short-selling capabilities. Fineco Bank is also a top-rated UK stock trading platform as it offers competitive fees on most of its markets. In terms of buying UK stocks, this will cost you £2.95 per trade, US stocks cost $5.95 per trade, and other markets are priced differently.
Either way, buying trading assets at Fineco will attract an annual maintenance fee of 0.25%. CFD fees will depend on the asset. For example, stock CFDs are commission-free, while futures CFDs cost $0.70 per contract. Forex can be traded from just 0.8 pips on major pairs like EUR/USD.
If you like the sound of Fineco Bank for your online trading needs, the minimum deposit is just £100. You will need to transfer funds from your bank account as the provider doesn’t support debit or credit cards. Finally, Fineco Bank is heavily regulated in several countries. This includes a license with the FCA and the platform is covered by the FSCS.
Fineco Bank fees
|Stock trading fee||£2.95 per trade in UK stocks|
|Forex trading fee||Variable spread|
|Crypto trading fee||N/A|
- Buy UK stocks from just £2.95
- 0% commission on stock CFDs
- Access dozens of international exchanges at competitive fees
- Includes portfolio management tools
- Excellent fundamental analysis and commentary
- A simple system for tracking investment performance
- FCA regulated and covered by the FSCS
- 0.25% annual management fee
- No debit or credit card deposits
69.44% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site
4. Skilling – UK Online Broker With Spreads Starting at 0.1 Pip
Skilling is a UK trading platform that is popular with first-timers. This is because the platform is simple to use – especially when it comes to placing buy and sell orders. Plus, Skilling is great when it comes to trading education – with the platform packed with user-friendly guides and explainers.
This UK trading platform specializes exclusively in CFDs, so you won’t be able to buy traditional assets. But, you can trade more than 800+ financial instruments – which includes stocks, commodities, indices, and forex. Skilling offers leverage on all these markets – in line with FCA regulations.
Best of all, irrespective of which CFD asset class you trade, Skilling does not charge any commissions. This low-cost CFD trading platform is also known for offering some of the best spreads in the industry. In fact, you can trade major currency pairs from just 0.1 pips during standard market hours.
Although Skilling is great for newbies, the platform is also popular with seasoned pros that wish to trade via MT4 or cTrader. Once you connect your chosen third-party platform to Skilling, this will give you access to heaps of advanced orders and charting analysis tools. Skilling also offers a mobile trading app which is great for placing orders while on the move.
Although this top-rated trading platform was only launched in 2019, it is heavily regulated nonetheless. This includes authorization from the FCA to accept UK traders and full regulation with CySEC and the FSA. Once you open an account with Skilling – which rarely takes more than a few minutes, you can deposit funds instantly with a debit/credit card or e-wallet. The minimum deposit is just £100, which allows you to start trading with small amounts.
|Stock trading fee||2 points in FTSE|
|Forex trading fee||Variable spread|
|Crypto trading fee||Commission, 0.2% in Bitcoin|
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
5. Capital.com – Best Online Broker UK for AI Trading
Capital.com is a relatively new trading platform that has been making waves in the UK market. To start with, this app offers over 3,000 instruments, including a great variety of stock CFDs. This includes over 2,400 shares, which is a great amount, so you can trade companies from all over the world. It also offers ETFs, indices, commodities, and forex.
This UK trading broker is also very cheap, with no commissions and low spreads. Another plus is that Capital.com offers spread betting as well as CFDs, meaning any earnings you make from spread betting are tax-free.
Perhaps the best thing about this broker is its excellent trading tools and features. It has an innovative AI-powered trading platform with personalised trading insights, tech indicators, analytic tools, and advanced charts, and it also has excellent educational resources, including webinars.
Capital.com is licensed by the FCA, so it’s a very secure free trading platform. Although it doesn’t offer PayPal, it does offer some great alternative payment methods, including Apple Pay, Neteller and Skrill.
|Stock trading fee||Variable spread|
|Forex trading fee||Spread, 0.00006 pips in EUR/USD|
|Crypto trading fee||Spread, 110 pips in BTC/USD|
- Low spreads
- Over 2,400 shares
- Spread betting
- AI trading platform
- Can’t own stocks
- Doesn’t accept PayPal
Your capital is at risk
6. Plus500 – CFD Trading Platform with Tight Spreads
Plus500 is one of the most popular trading platforms in the UK, and with good reason. This broker offers thousands of CFDs covering everything from shares, indices, and ETFs to commodities, forex, and even options.
One of the best things about Plus500 is its incredibly low fees. It doesn’t charge any commission, and it has some of the tightest spreads n the market. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees to worry about either, so this broker really is one of the cheapest on the market!
This is also an excellent practice trading platform if you’re a beginner, as it offers an unlimited demo account with the full functionality of a real money account! This means you can take as long as you need to learn the ropes.
Plus500 offers a clean, user-friendly platform that has some decent charting and analysis tools. It also offers some great educational resources, including a traders’ guide. You can easily sign up and instantly make a deposit with a UK debit or credit card or even PayPal. The minimum deposit is also just £100.
Another great thing about Plus500 is that it offers an impressive mobile app, so you can trade the markets on the go. Finally, Plus500 is a very secure UK trading platform. It’s licensed by the FCA and listed on the London Stock Exchange, so you can trade in confidence when you use this platform.
|Stock trading fee||Spread. 23.51 pips for Amazon.|
|Forex trading fee||Spread. 1.3 pips for GBP/USD.|
|Crypto trading fee||Spread. 4.11% for Bitcoin.|
|Inactivity fee||£10 per month after three months|
- Tight spreads
- No deposit or withdrawal fees
- Huge library of forex and CFDs
- Risk management tools, price alerts and trader’s sentiment tool
- Accepts PayPal
- Heavily regulated including a license by the FCA
- No social trading tools
- CFDs only
76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
7. IG – Best UK Trading Platform for Long-Term Investments (With ISAs)
While many investors like to deploy short-term trading strategies, some of you might be in it for the long run. By this, we mean that you are looking to buy stocks or funds and keep hold of the investment for several years. If this sounds like you, it might be worth considering IG.
Launched in 1974, the brokerage firm is one of the most established in the UK trading scene. In fact, the platform is now listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market valuation of approximately $3 billion. By opening an account with IG, you will have access to thousands of traditional assets.
This includes heaps of UK stocks that can be purchased from £3 per trade. If, however, you place less than three trades per month, you will pay a commission of £8. IG also supports a full range of international markets – both big and small. In particular, a lot of investors in the UK will use IG to buy US stocks.
This is because you can get your commission down to £0, should you trade regularly. If you’re more interested in pre-built portfolios, IG offers ETFs, mutual funds, investment trusts, and even managed investment services. The fees on these products will vary depending on your chosen instrument.
Nevertheless, IG is also worth considering if you are looking to trade CFDs. The platform hosts more than 17,000 markets, which also includes spread betting facilities. Other than stocks, all CFD and spread betting markets can be traded commission-free. When it comes to the trading platform itself, buying stocks and funds can be done through the IG website.
If you want to actively trade CFDs, you can use the IG web-trader or connect your account to MT4. IG also offers a mobile trading app, which is available on both iOS and Android devices. If you want to open an account with this top-rated UK trading platform, the minimum deposit is £250. You can fund your account with a debit/credit card or bank transfer.
|Stock trading fee||£3 per trade in UK stocks|
|Forex trading fee||Spread, 0.9 pips for EUR/USD|
|Crypto trading fee||Spread, 40 pips for Bitcoin|
|Inactivity fee||$18 for two years of inactivity|
- Buy stocks from just £3
- More than 80 currency pairs offered
- 17,000 markets supported
- Spreads start at just 0.6 pips and no commissions charged
- Trade on the IG website or via the app
- MT4 is supported
- More than four decades in the brokerage space
- Easily fund your account with a debit card or bank transfer
- A minimum deposit of £250
- No e-wallet deposits
Your capital is at risk.
8. Hargreaves Lansdown – Traditional UK Broker with ISA Accounts
Like IG, Hargreaves Lansdown is a long-standing, reputable UK broker. It’s slightly different from newer online platforms in that it’s mainly focused on stock trading and investing.
Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of services – share dealing accounts, stocks, and shares ISAs, including stocks and shares ISAs, lifetime ISAs, junior ISAs, and cash ISAs, and pensions. You can invest in everything from stocks and ETFs to investment trusts, funds, bonds, and gilts. There’s a huge range of shares, ETFs, and funds to choose from, and you can invest in companies from all around the world.
However, while Hargreaves Lansdown offers a great range of trading and investment options, it’s also more expensive than some other online trading platforms. For example, while eToro offers zero-commission stock trading, Hargreaves Lansdown changes £11.95 per trade if you made less than 10 deals in the previous month, £8.95 if you made less than 20, and £5.95 if you made 20 or more.
That being said, it does have some really useful features which will be a great help to some investors. For starters, it has a vast amount of research material as well as some useful tools you can use to analyse the markets. You can also choose from ready-made portfolios, get help choosing stocks, ETFs and funds to invest in, and take advantage of the latest news and expert tips.
Hargreaves Lansdown is an extremely secure broker that’s licensed by the FCA. It also offers a useful mobile app so you can trade on the go, and if you ever need assistance you get in touch with the customer service team via email or telephone.
Hargreaves Lansdown fees
|Stock trading fee||Variable spread|
|Forex trading fee||N/A|
|Crypto trading fee||N/A|
- Wide range of investment options including ISAs
- Ready-made portfolios
- Telephone support
- Vast amount of research tools
- Expert stock tips
- Expensive share dealing fees
- Doesn’t offer forex, crypto or commodities
Your capital is at risk.
9. Pepperstone – Best UK Trading Platform for Spread Betting
Last but not least is Pepperstone. This broker is slightly different from most others in that while it offers CFD trading, it also offers spread betting. With spread betting, any earnings you make from your trading are tax-free!
You can trade stocks, indices, forex, and commodities on Pepperstone, all as either CFDs or spread bets, and with up to 1:30 leverage for both ways of trading. You pay a spread for trading all assets on Pepperstone apart from share CFDs, which have a commission of up to 0.10%.
While Pepperstone doesn’t have a proprietary platform, it’s compatible with cTrader, MT4, and MT5. cTrader is a user-friendly platform that’s ideal for beginners, while MT4 and MT5 are packed with advanced trading tools and designed for experienced traders.
Overall, Pepperstone is the best spread betting platform and is a secure broker that’s registered by the FCA, so you can trade in confidence. It accepts a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, so you can enjoy fast deposits and withdrawals.
|Stock trading fee||$0.02 per US stock|
|Forex trading fee||Spread, 1.59 pips for GBP/USD|
|Crypto trading fee||Spread, 50 pips for Bitcoin|
- Spread betting – no capital gains tax
- Compatible with numerous platfrms
- FCA licensed
- Accepts PayPal
- No proprietary platform
- Doesn’t offer ETFs
Your capital is at risk.
Best Trading Platform UK Fees Comparison
So we’ve now reviewed the UK’s best trading platforms, but how do they compare in terms of fees? Check out the table below to find out about the UK’s cheapest trading platforms with the lowest fees and no overnight fees.
|Trading Platform||Stock trading fees||Forex trading fees||Overnight fees|
|eToro||Free.||Fixed spread. 2 pips for GBP/USD.||Overnight fees for CFDs. No overnight fees for non-leveraged stocks, ETFs, and crypto.|
|Libertex||0%-0.46% commission. 0.034% for Amazon.||Commission. 0.008% for GBP/USD.||Yes. Taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative. For CFDs, the overnight fee is triple when holding from Friday to Monday.|
|Fineco||Free for stock CFDs, £2.95 – £3.95 for real stocks.||Variable spread. 0.8 pips for GBP/USD.||No overnight fees.|
|Skilling||Variable spread. 22.81 pips for Amazon.||Variable spread. 1.3 pips for GBP/USD.||No overnight fees for stocks. For other assets, the overnight fee is taken at end of each trading day at 9 pm GMT as interest, which may be positive or negative.|
|Capital.com||Variable spread. 1.83 pips for Amazon.||Variable spread. 0.8 pips for GBP/USD.||Yes. Based on leverage for stocks, crypto, and thematic assets. Based on the entire value of position for forex, commodities, and indices.|
|Plus500||Variable spread. 23.51 pips for Amazon.||Variable spread. 1.3 pips for GBP/USD.||Yes. Applies to all instruments.|
|IG||£0 – £10 commission.||Variable spread. 1.4 pips for GBP/USD.||Yes. Applies to forex, stocks, commodities, and indices.|
|Hargreaves Lansdown||£5.95 – £11.95.||N/A||No overnight fees.|
|Pepperstone||$0.02 per US share, 0.10% for German shares, 0.07% for Australian shares.||Variable spread. 1.59 pips for GBP/USD.||Yes. Applies to all instruments.|
Best Trading Platforms UK Assets & Software Comparison
Fees aren’t the only thing you’ll need to consider when choosing the best trading platform for you. Let’s now take a look at how the top brokers match up in terms of tradable assets, software, and features.
|eToro||Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies||Proprietary||Social trading, copy trading, CopyPortfolios|
|Libertex||Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, options||Proprietary, MT4||Webinars, economic news|
|Fineco||Shares, ETFs, forex, indices, futures, funds||Proprietary||Technical analysis, historical reports, multi-charts|
|Skilling||Shares, forex, commodities, indices||Proprietary, cTrader, MT4||Complete charting package, algorithmic trading|
|Capital.com||Shares, forex, commodities, indices||Proprietary, MT4||The educational app, spread betting, AI-based trading suggestions|
|Plus500||Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, options||Proprietary||Trader’s sentiments, risk management tool|
|IG||Shares, ETFs, forex, commodities, indices, options, futures||Proprietary, MT4, ProRealTime||Spread betting, free signals, algorithmic trading|
|Hargreaves Lansdown||Shares, ETFs, funds||Proprietary||Ready-made portfolios, expert insights|
|Pepperstone||Shares, forex, commodities, indices||cTrader, MT4, MT5||Spread betting, market analysis|
Best Stock Trading App UK
These days, you don’t need to be sat at home on your computer to trade the financial markets. Virtually all brokers now offer a mobile trading app for iPhone and Android devices, meaning you can trade from the palm of your hand whenever, wherever.
That being said, not every stock trading app UK offers a seamless trading experience. Once again, eToro is our recommended broker for mobile trading. eToro has mastered the art of optimising its platform for mobile use – the app is incredibly well designed, very intuitive, and runs extremely smoothly.
On top of that, it offers the full functionality of the eToro website, so you can copy top traders from the smartphone!
How to Choose the Best UK Brokers for You
With hundreds of online trading platforms now offering accounts to UK residents, it’s advisable to spend some time thinking about what your priorities are.
For example, are you looking to access a specific marketplace like UK stocks or forex, or are you more concerned with low fees and commissions? Or, maybe you’re looking for a specific feature – like automated trading?
Either way, there’s lots to think about in your search for the best UK trading platform. To help you along the way, below we list the most important factors to consider when searching for the best broker for trading in the UK.
Regulation and Safety
The best brokers UK must be licensed by at least one reputable financial body. Ideally, this should be with the FCA – which is responsible for keeping the UK trading and investment industry a safe and transparent space for all. By sticking with an FCA broker UK, you will benefit from a range of safety nets.
- Segregated Funds: The best trading platforms UK that are regulated by the FCA must keep client funds in segregated bank accounts. In simple terms, this means that the platform cannot touch your money to service its own debt.
- Risk Warnings: All FCA-regulated platforms must clearly present the risks associated with trading. This is usually displayed on the homepage with a percentage outlining the number of retail clients that lose money.
- Regular Audits: The best brokers UK that are FCA-regulated will need to have their books audited on a regular basis. This ensures that you and your fellow investors can trade in a safe and secure environment.
In addition to the above, the best UK trading platforms are also covered by the FSCS. This means that your funds are protected up to the first £85,000 – should the trading platform cease to exist.
Taking all of this into account, our top-rated UK trading platform is not only authorized and regulated by the FCA, but CySEC and ASIC, too. It is also registered with FINRA in the US – meaning that you have regulatory oversight on several fronts.
There are thousands of financial instruments across dozens of asset classes that can be traded online. But, not all UK trading brokers will give you access to your desired marketplace.
We find that the best trading platforms in the UK offer the following assets:
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, you need to find out whether you are trading CFDs or buying the asset outright. If it’s a CFD instrument you are trading, you will not own the underlying asset. In turn, this does allow you to short-sell with ease and apply leverage of up to 1:30.
If, however, you want to invest in the traditional sense, you’ll want to avoid CFDs. This is particularly the case if you want to build a long-term investment plan, as CFDs attract overnight financing. In our view, it’s best to choose a UK trading platform that gives you access to both traditional assets and CFDs.
For example, eToro allows you to buy 2,400+ stocks, 250+ ETFs, and 16 cryptocurrencies. It also allows you to trade thousands of CFD markets, which in addition to the aforementioned, include forex, commodities, and indices.
When investors in the UK are searching for the best online trading platform for their needs, they will often focus on fees. After all, the amount you need to pay to trade online can vary quite considerably.
The main fees that you need to consider in your hunt for the best brokers UK are as follows:
Share Dealing Fees
Share dealing fees not only relate to the purchase of stocks, but other traditional assets like ETFs, mutual funds, and investment trusts. In all but a few rare cases, your chosen UK trading platform will charge a flat dealing fee.
This means that irrespective of how much you invest, the fee will remain the same. It goes without saying that this benefits investors that are looking to trade larger amounts.
- For example, let’s suppose that you signed up with popular UK stock broker Hargreaves Lansdown.
- If you purchased £150 worth of BT shares, the provider would charge you a flat dealing fee of £11.95.
- This means that in percentage terms, you’re paying a commission of almost 8%.
- Then, when you cash out your BT shares, you’d need to pay the £11.95 fee again.
If, however, you used our top-rated UK trading platform eToro – the above transaction would have cost you nothing in commission. This is because the platform is 100% commission-free on all of its markets. Plus, the platform even waives the 0.5% stamp duty tax that you ordinarily need to pay on UK share purchases!
If you decide to trade assets via a CFD instrument, then your chosen platform will charge you a variable fee. This is more beneficial to entry-level traders, as you won’t be penalized for placing small orders.
As always, the amount of commission that you pay can vary depending on which UK trading platform you sign up with.
- For example, let’s say your chosen UK trading platform charges a CFD commission of 0.2% per slide
- If you stake £500, you will pay a commission of £1 to enter the position
- If you close the trade when it is valued at £750, your 0.2% commission will amount to £1.50
Sure, this might not sound like a lot to pay. However, these costs can quickly add up – resulting in profitable trades becoming somewhat unviable. This is especially the case when you use a trading platform that has a minimum commission policy in place.
Fortunately, the best UK brokers that we discussed on this page allow you to trade CFDs commission-free. This includes eToro, Skilling, and Plus500.
If you’re wondering how the best UK brokers make money when they don’t charge a commission – this comes via the spread. This is simply the difference between the buy and sell price of the financial instrument being traded.
- For example, let’s say you are trading Apple stocks on eToro
- The trading platform is currently quoting a ‘buy price’ of $135.10
- It is quoting a ‘sell price’ of $134.85
- Calculating the difference between the two prices gives us a spread of 0.18%
So what does this mean? Well, this means that when you open your Apple trade on eToro, your position is instantly 0.18% in the red. In other words, your trade needs to increase in value by 0.18% for you to get back to the break-even point. In this example, a spread of 0.18% is very competitive – especially when you consider that eToro is commission-free.
Other Trading Platform Fees
The main costs to explore in great depth are related to share dealing fees, commissions, and spreads. However, there are other charges that your chosen UK trading platform might have in place, which includes:
- Overnight Financing: If you are trading CFDs, you will always need to pay an overnight financing fee if your position remains open past a certain time of the day. For example, at eToro, this kicks in after 10 pm UK time. This is why CFDs are only suitable for short-term strategies, as they are charged by all UK trading platforms
- Transaction Fees: Some UK online brokers allow you to deposit and withdraw funds fee-free, while others will implement a charge. This might be based on your chosen payment method or because you are using a platform that is denominated in a currency other than GBP.
- Inactivity Fees: Certain UK trading platforms charge a fee if your account remains inactive for a certain amount of time.
- FX Trading Fees: In a lot of cases, UK brokers charge an FX when you wish to buy, sell, or trade a non-UK-listed asset. For example, Hargreaves Lansdown will charge you its standard share dealing fee of £11.95 to buy US stocks, plus a 1% FX mark-up.
All in all, fees and commissions can and will have a major impact on your ability to make gains, so make sure you understand what you are paying before opening an account.
Trading Tools & Features
Some UK brokers keep things simple by allowing you to buy and sell assets – and nothing more. In other cases, your chosen provider might offer an abundance of tools and features that can take your investment endeavors to the next level.
Below you will find a selection of useful tools that the best trading platforms UK offers.
Fractional Ownership and Low Minimums
Not all UK traders want to risk thousands of pounds on a single investment. On the contrary, some of you might just be starting out and thus – want to trade with small stakes. This is why we prefer the best UK brokers that offer ‘fractional ownership’.
For those unaware, this means that you can own or trade a ‘fraction’ of an asset, rather than needing to purchase it outright. A prime example of this is eToro, our recommended best trading broker UK, which allows you to trade cryptocurrencies from just $25 upwards.
In the case of stocks, the minimum is just $50. This means that you don’t need to fork out over $800 to buy a single Tesla share or $100,000 on a USD/AUD lot!
In line with fractional ownership, the best trading platforms UK allow you to get started with a small amount. This means a low minimum deposit that is affordable for traders of all budget levels.
Automated trading is getting more and more popular in the online space. The main concept is that you can actively trade without needing to do any research. In fact, some automated trading tools will go one step further by placing orders on your behalf. Not only does this suit traders with no experience, but those with little time to analyze the markets.
There are several ways in which you can automate your trades. Some in the UK opt to purchase a trading robot, which they then install into MT4. In order to do this, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen provider supports this third-party platform.
With that said, the safest way to engage in an automated trading platform is to do this directly through an FCA broker. eToro, for example, offers a Copy Trading feature that does not attract any additional fees. All you need to do is decide which verified eToro trader you wish to copy, and the platform will then mirror all trades in your own portfolio.
Irrespective of which trading platform you use or the asset you wish to access, you will always need to place a series of orders to execute your position.
This essentially lets your chosen trading platform know what you want to achieve. All trading platforms UK will offer buy and sell orders, as this is required to enter and exit your trade.
However, the best providers in this space will also offer risk-management orders. This should include stop-loss and take-profit orders at a minimum, but trialing stop-loss and guaranteed stop-loss orders are also very useful.
Research and Analysis
Unless you are planning to trade recklessly, you should never execute a position unless it is based on some form of research. Otherwise, you may as well be gambling. To aid your research process, the best online trading platforms in the UK will offer an assortment of analysis tools.
For example, platforms like eToro give you access to pricing charts on all of its supported assets. It also offers fundamental data on major stocks, as well as guidance on current market sentiment. Some of the best brokers UK also offer direct access to financial news, which is especially important for long-term investors.
Irrespective of whether you are a seasoned pro or a first-time trader, demo accounts are invaluable. These are offered by the best UK trading platforms and allow you to gain access to real market conditions without risking any money. Instead, you’ll be traded with paper funds.
For example, eToro offers demo accounts that come pre-loaded with $100,000. You will still have access to the same markets, prices, and trading volume – which is great for testing the waters before you make a real deposit. Even if you have some experience of online trading, demo accounts are also good for trying out new strategies.
The best trading platforms UK usually offer a mobile investment app that is compatible with Android and iOS. Sure, you might be planning to trade via your desktop computer or laptop.
But, there might come a time when you need to place a trade when you are on the move. A prime example of this Gamestop – which in the 24 hours prior to writing this guide, saw its share price drop by 60%.
As such, if you had a position in this stock and were unable to close it until you got home, your losses would have been significant.
On the other hand, if you had access to a top-rated mobile trading app, you could have exited the position instantly and reduced your losses by some distance.
The best mobile trading apps also offer other key account features. For example, the eToro mobile app allows you to check the value of your portfolio in real-time, deposit and withdraw funds, and even speak to customer support via live chat.
When you go through the process of opening an account with a trading platform, you will be asked to deposit some funds. The best UK trading platforms allow you to do this instantly with a debit or credit card. Similarly, platforms like eToro, Libertex, and Skilling also accept e-wallets.
With that said, some trading platforms in the UK only support bank account deposits. This can take a few days to reach your trading account, meaning it won’t be suitable if you want to buy an asset immediately. You also need to check what fees are attached to your chosen payment method.
It’s always a good idea to see what customer support channels the UK trading platform offers. Ideally, the provider should offer a live chat feature. Telephone support is also notable, as you’ll be able to speak with an agent in real-time. If, however, the trading platform only offers support via email, this means that you might need to wait several hours to receive a response.
How to Get Started with the Best Broker UK
This section of our guide will show you how to get started with the best online trading platform UK – eToro. We walk you through the process of opening an account, making a deposit, and placing your first trade!
Step 1: Open a Trading Account
Opening a trading account at eToro is super easy and should take you no more than a few minutes. First, visit the eToro website via your desktop or mobile web browser. Then, click on the ‘Join Now’ button.
eToro will then collect some personal information from you, alongside your contact details and national insurance number. You’ll also need to choose a username and password – which you’ll use to log into your eToro account.
Step 2: Confirm Identity
eToro is an FCA-regulated trading platform, so it needs to verify your identity.
To do this, upload a copy of your:
- Valid passport or driver’s license
- Utility bill or bank account statement (issued within the last 3 months)
You can upload these documents at a later date as long as you are not depositing more than $2,250 (about £1,700).
Step 3: Deposit Funds
Now it’s time to deposit some funds. If you want to use the eToro demo account first, you can do this once you get comfortable with how the trading platform works.
When you’re ready to trade with real money, you can choose from the following payment methods:
- Bank Transfer
Step 4: Search for a Trading Market
Once your deposit has been processed you can start using eToro, the best broker UK, to trade. On the left-hand side of the dashboard, click on the ‘Trade Markets’ button to see what assets are supported. Or, if you already know which asset you want to trade, search for it.
In the example above, we are looking to trade gold.
Step 5: Place a CFD Trade
Once you click on the ‘Trade’ button next to your chosen asset, an order box will appear.
You then need to fill in the following fields:
- Buy/Sell: If you think the asset will rise in value, place a buy order. Or, place a sell order if you think the asset will fall in value.
- Amount: Enter your stake into the ‘Amount’ box. This is always in US dollar on eToro.
- Leverage: Apart from cryptocurrencies (as per FCA regulations), eToro allows UK residents to apply leverage on all of its supported markets. Choose your required leverage ratio, if applicable.
If you wish, you can also place stop-loss, trailing stop-loss, and take-profit orders on your eToro trade.
To complete your trade, click on the ‘Open Markets’ button.
Best Trading Platform UK – Conclusion
With more and more UK trading platforms entering the online marketplace, never before has it been so easy to invest online. Whether you’re interested in stocks, forex, cryptocurrencies, or CFDs – the best brokers UK will often give you access to thousands of markets.
Our research process concluded that eToro is the overall best trading platform available to UK residents. This FCA-regulated broker offers lots of tradable markets – all of which can be accessed commission-free. Plus, it takes just minutes to open an account and you can instantly deposit funds with a UK debit/credit card or e-wallet!
eToro – Best Trading Platform UK with 0% Commission
Your capital is at risk.
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
What is the best trading platform for beginners UK?
If you're entering the UK trading platform scene for the first time, it's best to stick with a beginner-friendly provider like eToro. Not only is the platform simple to use, but you'll be able to enter trades from just $25 upwards. Plus, eToro offers a demo account facility that allowed you to trade risk-free.
What is the best free trading platform UK?
If you want to trade for free, then you'll need to use an online platform that doesn't charge commission. eToro is not only commission-free on traditional stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies - but all CFD markets. The broker also waives the 0.5% stamp duty tax that is payable on UK stock purchases.
Which UK trading platforms offer US shares?
Lots of UK trading platforms now give you access to US shares. However, you need to keep an eye on fees - as most charge a premium when you buy non-UK assets. eToro, on the other hand, allows you to buy hundreds of US shares on a commission-free basis.
Are UK trading platforms safe?
As long as your chosen UK trading platform is regulated by the FCA, you will be able to trade safely. It's also best to stick with platforms that are covered by the FSCS.
What is the best trading platform UK to buy Bitcoin?
Although the FCA banned crypto-CFDs in January 2021, you can still buy digital currencies in the traditional sense. eToro offers Bitcoin and 15 other cryptocurrencies on a commission-free basis, with the minimum investment standing at just $25.
How do commission-free trading platforms UK make money?
Commission-free trading platforms in the UK - such as eToro and Plus500, make their money from the spread.
How much leverage do UK trading platforms offer?
Retail investor accounts in the UK are capped to leverage of 1:30 on major currency pairs, and less on other assets. In order to trade with leverage, you need to use a platform that offers CFD markets.