If you’re looking to trade in a fully passive nature – you’ll want to consider an automated trading platform. In doing so, you’ll be able to buy and sell financial instruments without putting any of the legwork in.
In this guide, we review the Best Automated Trading Platforms UK and walk you through the process of getting started.
In searching high and low for the best automated trading platforms UK for 2021 – we found that the following providers stand out.
eToro – Overall Best Automated Trading Platform for 2021
Learn2Trade – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Signals
MT4 – via Libertex – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Forex EAs
MT5 – via Pepperstone – Best Auto Trading Platform UK for Mirror Trading
ZuluTrade – via AvaTrade – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Beginners
Ninjatrader – via FXCM – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Pre-Loaded Strategies
ProRealTime – via IG – Best Auto Trading Platform UK for Tax-Free Spread Betting
We suggest reading through all of our automated trading platform reviews before selecting a provider – which you’ll find below.
Best Automated Trading Platforms Reviewed
There are many ways in which you can automate your online trading endeavors. This comes in the form of Copy Trading, EAs, and robots via MT4/5, and even fully-fledged Multi-Account Manager (MAM) accounts.
Most importantly – you need to consider the risks involved when choosing the best automated trading platform UK for your needs – as not all providers in this space are credible.
In the sections below, we review the best automated trading platforms UK for 2021 – covering a broad spectrum of providers that should appeal to a variety of investment strategies.
1. eToro – Overall Best Automated Trading Platform UK
We found that eToro is by far the best automated trading platform UK for 2021. Not only in terms of safety, credibility, and transparency – but fees and asset diversification. First and foremost, we should note that eToro is an established FCA-regulated broker with more than 20 million clients. The platform is also covered by the FSCS – so safety is assured.
In terms of what it offers in automated investment services – this comes in the form of its innovative Copy Trading feature. In its most basic form, this allows you to select from thousands of verified eToro traders and then copy their ongoing positions. This is at an amount proportionate to what you invest. If example, if you invest £500 into the trader and they allocate 5% of their portfolio to a forex position – you’ll be staking £25.
Most importantly, the process of selecting an investor to copy at eToro is 100% transparent. This is because you can view a full range of core statistics related to the trader in question. For example, you can view which assets they like to buy and sell, the average trade duration, and how much risk they typically take. You can also view the maximum drawdown percentage on a daily/weekly/annual basis and most importantly – how much the trader has made since joining the eToro platform.
Once you have selected a trader to copy, you will need to meet a minimum investment of $500 – or about £350. As eToro is a commission-free broker – there are no fees charged to use the Copy Trading feature. This is because the respective trader will be able to buy and sell assets without paying any dealing fees. Additionally, we should note that you always retain full control of your eToro investment funds – even when you are copying a trader.
After all, you can add individual assets as and when you see fit – or remove them from your portfolio if they don’t quite meet your financial goals. When it comes to supported assets – eToro is the best trading platform as it covers thousands of markets in the form of stocks, ETFs, currencies, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. This ensures that you have access to a trader that specializes in your chosen marketplace. CFDs are also supported – so you trade with leverage should you wish to amplify your stakes.
Super user-friendly online broker and trading platform
Trade thousands of assets with tight spreads
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. Learn2Trade – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Signals
While many of you will be looking for a trading platform that allows you to automate the entire investment journey - some might prefer to have a bit more control of where your capital goes. In this respect, we like the look of Learn2Trade. Put simply, this top-rated provider specializes in trading signals.
For those unaware, signals refer to trading suggestions - meaning that you will be told which assets to buy and sell - and when. In the case of Learn2Trade, the platform largely focuses on forex and cryptocurrency signals. With that said, the platform occasionally offers signals that cover the stock markets, as well as commodities and indices.
Either way, when you receive a signal from Learn2Trade - you will be given the exact orders that need to be placed. This includes the asset, whether you should place a buy or sell order, and what entry price to execute the position. Most importantly, Learn2Trade will also give you the required stop-loss and take-profit price - which is crucial for risk-management purposes. As Learn2Trade is a signal provider and not a brokerage firm - you will need to place these orders with an online trading site.
eToro is a good shout here - as the FCA broker allows you to trade on a commission-free basis and no stamp duty is charged when investing in assets listed on the London Stock Exchange. Nevertheless, in terms of pricing - Learn2Trade offers two plans. If you wish to test the platform out first- the free plan offers three signals per week. If, however, you want to get the most out of the experienced Learn2Trade team of traders - the premium plan comes with 3-5 signals per day.
This will cost you just £35 per month - which you can cancel at any time. Cheaper rates are available when you sign up for a 3-month, 6-month, or lifetime plan. Irrespective of your chosen plan, the signals are sent in real-time via the Learn2Trade Telegram channel. Finally, in the few days prior to writing this review, Learn2Trade has since launched a fully-fledged MAM account service. This means that you will be investing directly in a Learn2Trade analyst that will be trading on your behalf.
Top-rated signal service
Free plan comes with 3 signals per week
Premium plan affords you 3-5 signals per day
Great reputation in this space
Offers heaps of free educational guides
Recently entered the MAM account sector
30-day moneyback guarantee on premium account plans
Not fully-automated – as you still need to place the recommended orders via an online broker
3. MT4 - via Libertex – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Forex EAs
If you are looking to trade forex 24 hours per day - 7 days per week, then the best-automated trading platform is MetaTrader4 (MT4). For those unaware, MT4 is a third-party trading platform that you can connect to a supported broker - of which there are more than 1,000. MT4 is really popular with advanced technical traders - as it comes packed with analytical tools and features.
With that said, perhaps the main advantage of using MT4 is that the platform allows you to install automated robots and forex EAs (Expert Advisors). Both of these terms are used interchangeably and they simply refer to the process of allowing a pre-programmed piece of software to trade on your behalf.
The forex EA will place buy and sell positions around the clock - so you'll be trading in a 100% automated nature. There are thousands of automated trading systems that are compatible with MT4 - so it's just a case of finding a strategy with a proven track record of making consistent gains. This is the biggest barrier that you will face - as many MT4 robot providers make false claims about their historical performance.
This is why we think that you should consider deploying your chosen forex EA or robot via top-rated MT4 broker Libertex. The reason for this is that Libertex offers all UK residents a demo account facility that you use via MT4. This means that you can install your robot and allow it to trade without you risking any money. If after testing the robot for several weeks you find that it is 'oven ready', you can then switch to a real money account at Libertex.
In doing so, you will be able to trade thousands of markets without paying any spreads. All in the form of CFD trading instruments - this includes forex, stocks, cryptocurrencies (professional clients only), ETFs, indices, and commodities. This zero-spread offering is usually reserved for ECN Accounts that require a large deposit. But, at Libertex, the minimum deposit is just £100. You can fund your account with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank account.
Zero spread CFD trading
Very competitive commissions - starting from 0% upwards
83% of retail investors lose money trading CFDs at this site.
4. MT5 - via Pepperstone - Best Auto Trading Platform UK for Mirror Trading
As the name suggests - MT5 is owned and managed by the same provider of MT4. MT5 is the newest edition and it is typically favored by technical traders that want access to assets in excess of just forex. This is because MT5 supports CFDs in the form of stocks, indices, hard metals, energies, and more.
Many would argue that MT5 is actually more advanced than MT4, as it comes pre-loaded with more technical indicators and charting tools, as well as an unlimited number of pricing screens. With that said, we think that MT5 is one of the best-automated trading platforms UK if you want to engage in mirror trading. This functions in a similar way to the previously discussed eToro Copy Trading tool - insofar that you will be mirroring the buy and sell positions of your selected trader.
However, things work slightly differently here - as you will be going through MT5. This means that in addition to downloading the MT5 platform to your desktop device - which is free, you will need to have an account with a top-rated MT5 broker. In this respect, we think that Pepperstone is a great option - as the regulated platform offers heaps of markets and allows you to trade with zero spreads on the Raw Account. The Standard Account comes with spreads, but you won't pay any commission.
Going back to the mirror trading service offered by MT5, you will have access to thousands of potential suitors. You can find a trader that meets your needs by looking at metrics surrounding past performance, preferred asset class, and average trade duration. The main drawback here is that unlike eToro - MT5 charges a subscription fee to copy a trader. It appears that although fixed - the fee will vary depending on the trader you elect to mirror.
If you like the sound of combining MT5's mirror trading service with Pepperstone, you can get started in just a few minutes. The minimum deposit at Pepperstone is a reasonable £100. But, if you wish to test your chosen mirror trader out first - you can do so via the Pepperstone demo account facility - which you link up with MT5 at the click of a button. Finally, your capital is safe at Pepperstone as the platform is regulated by the FCA.
5. ZuluTrade - via AvaTrade - Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Beginners
ZuluTrade is a popular automated trading platform that is great for beginners. The provider offers Copy Trading tools alongside a social community that allows you to discuss investment ideas and strategies with other users. This functions in a similar way to Linkedin or Facebook - as everyone has a public profile.
For example, you might decide to post a question regarding a potential upswing swing on gold with the view of seeing what the ZuluTrade community thinks. Users can 'Like' or comment on your post - just like a traditional social media site. Then get the most out of ZuluTrade's copy and social trading features, it's best to link it up with a regulated trading site.
This is because ZuluTrade itself is not a brokerage firm. We found that the best platform supporting ZuluTrade is AvaTrade - which is regulated in more than six jurisdictions. This CFD platform allows you to trade a wide range of markets - from stocks, forex, and ETFs to futures, options, and commodities. AvaTrade is a commission-free platform, so it's only the spread that you need to factor in. In terms of the investment process, you will first need to connect your AvaTrade and Zulutrade accounts.
In doing so, you can then browse more than 10,000 verified traders to determine which one meets your financial goals and risk tolerance. The filter system at ZuluTrade is great - as you can search for a trader based on core fundamentals. For example, you might be looking for a forex trader that has made at least 10% over the past 12 months. Once you have chosen an investor to copy, you will need to meet a £500 minimum deposit.
Although AvaTrade doesn't charge any commissions - ZuluTrade has a pricing structure in place on its Copy Trading tool. In fact, the platform is really expensive - as you will need to pay a 20% performance fee when certain profit conditions have been met. This is why most investors in the UK will opt for eToro when seeking a Copy Trading tool - as the platform doesn't charge any fees.
Supports MT4, MT5, and ZuluTrade
Wide range of tradable instruments
Islamic trading account
Does not offer traditional stock ownership – CFDs only
72% of retail CFD accounts lose money with this provider.
6. Ninjatrader - via FXCM – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Pre-Loaded Strategies
Another option that you might consider in your search for the best-automated trading platform UK is Ninjatrader. This third-party platform connects to a number of popular brokers - including FXCM. In its most basic form, Ninjatrader allows you to install, backtest, and deploy a pre-loaded trading strategy.
You can purchase a strategy directly from the Ninjatrader marketplace - of which there are more than 120 to choose from. This covers a wider variety of trading strategies and systems, so you'll want to spend some time looking into each product before taking the plunge.
To give you an idea of what's on offer - here is a Charging Bull ATS strategy that will scan the forex and futures markets 24/7 - extracting data based on trends, volumes, and momentum. It will then formulate the best entry and exit price to execute through stop-loss and take-profit orders. You then have the Bollinger Market Maker trading strategy.
As the name suggests, this strategy focuses on Bollinger Bands - which is a technical indicator that interprets the relationship between price and volatility. Irrespective of which strategy you use - these are supplied by third-party developers. This means that you will need to pay a fee to purchase the respective system. Once you have paid for a Ninjatrader strategy, you can then deploy it via FXCM.
This top-rated rating trading platform gives you access to CFDs in the form of gold, oil, stocks, indices, and more. FXCM does not charge any trading commissions are generally speaking - spreads are very competitive. Most importantly, FXCM offers a demo trading account that comes pre-loaded with £50,000 in paper funds. This means that you can test out your Ninjatrader strategy without risking your trading capital.
Lots of currency pairs to trade
Choose from several trading platforms - including MT4 and Ninjatrader
Supports EAs and forex robots
0% commission on all assets
You can also trade stock, crypto, oil, and gold via CFDs
There is no guarantee you will make money with this provider.
7. ProRealTime - via IG – Best Automated Trading Platform UK for Tax-Free Spread Betting
Whether you're investing in stocks or trading forex and CFDs - your profits will be liable for capital gains tax. However, there is one area in the UK trading scene in particular that is exempt from tax - and that's spread betting.
This works in much the same way as any other trading sector - as you will be required to speculate on the future value of an asset. But, not only can you spread bet with leverage and engage with short-selling, but profits and losses are based on 'points'.
Nevertheless, if you're an experienced spread betting trader that wishes to fully automate the process - you might want to consider the ProRealTime feature offered by UK broker IG. This is because IG is the only spread betting platform in the UK that supports ProRealTime strategies.
In terms of how this works - there is typically a 7-step process. This includes coming up with a trading idea, selecting your preferred market, implementing risk-management systems, and transforming this into an automated system. Then, it's a case of testing your spread betting system out, setting up your parameters, and finally - deploying it via IG.
You can amend your spread betting system at any given time by backtesting it via ProRealTime. In terms of the specifics, IG's spread betting platform covers over 17,000 markets. This includes thousands of stocks across dozens of UK and international exchanges, forex, commodities, and more.
All spread betting instruments can be traded commission-free apart from stocks, which average 0.10% per slide. The minimum deposit at IG is £250 - which you fund with your debit/credit card or UK bank account. The platform is, of course, regulated by the FCA - so safety should be of no concern.
Buy stocks from just £3
More than 80 currency pairs offered
17,000 markets supported including a spread betting facility
Spreads start at just 0.6 pips and no commissions charged
Trade on the IG website or via the app
Regulated by the FCA and ASIC
More than four decades in the brokerage space
Easily fund your account with a debit card or bank transfer
So now that we have discussed the best providers in this space - we need to explain how automated trading actually works in the UK investment space. Put simply, automated trading removes the need for you to pick and choose which investments to make. Instead - either through a human trader or a piece of automated software - all trading positions will be executed on your behalf.
There are many benefits that an automated trading platform offers for investors of all shapes and sizes. For example, you might simply be looking for a passive income stream outside of a conventional mutual fund or investment trust. This is because once you invest in your chosen automated strategy or system - there is nothing else for you to do.
Additionally, the best-automated trading platforms UK are ideal if you are a complete newbie in the world of investments. After all, there is no requirement for you to personally research the markets or perform technical analysis. On the contrary, this role is reserved for your chosen automated system.
Automated Trading Systems & Strategies
As appealing as automated trading might sound - it is important to mention that there are many different ways in which you can access this marketplace. As we covered in our reviews of the best-automated trading platforms UK - this covers everything from Copy Trading, signals, and software robots that you can install into MT4 or MT5.
It's important that you have a firm understanding of which system is right for your financial goals. As such, below we elaborate on the many different types of automated trading you can access in the UK.
Automated Copy Trading
We would argue that the Copy Trading feature offered by eToro is by far the best option in the market. This is because the broker is regulated by the FCA - so you know you are dealing with a legitimate and credible provider.
Just as importantly - eToro doesn't charge any fees for its Copy Trading feature and you will have access to thousands of verified investors. As we briefly covered earlier, no stone has been left unturned at eToro when it comes to reviewing the credentials of your chosen trader.
For example, you can assess:
The profit and loss for each month since the trader joined eToro
The average trade duration - which gives you an idea of whether they are a short-term trader or long-term investor
Which markets the trader likes to target - such as stocks or forex
The maximum drawdown - which gives us an idea of how much risk the trader takes
A risk rating that is assigned by eToro
The assets currently held in the trader's portfolio
How many people are copying the trader and how much capital has been invested
And much more
As you can see from the above, you have a significant amount of data when it comes to selecting a trader to copy.
If you are completely new to the automated Copy Trading phenomenon at eToro, here's a quick example:
You invest £1,000 into an investor that specializes in stock trading
The investor risks 5% of their portfolio by purchasing HSBC stocks
In turn, you invest £50 into this trade (5% of £1,000)
A few weeks later, the investor seels their HSBC stocks at a profit of 15%
You automatically do the same, meaning that you make a profit of £7.50 (15% of £50 stake)
This example illustrates that you were able to make a 15% profit without needing to lift a finger. Of course, there is no guarantee that you will make money by copying a trader at eToro - which is why it's best to diversify. To do this, you can elect to copy as many traders as you wish - as long as you meet the $500 minimum.
Semi-Automated Trading Signals
The next option that you have when selecting the best automated trading platform UK for your needs is to opt for a signal service. This results in a semi-automated strategy - as you will be required to place the suggested orders. The best signal platform that we came across is Learn2Trade - which mainly focuses on forex trading and cryptocurrencies.
The way it works is the team of in-house analysts at Learn2Trade will manually scan the financial markets by deploying technical indicators. When the team finds a potential trading opportunity, it will send out a signal to the 16,000+ members that have joined the Learn2Trade Telegram channel.
The signal might look like the following:
Limit Price: 0.75990
As per the above, a Learn2Trade signal will tell you which asset the suggestion relates to and whether you should go long or short. You are also told the price in which you should deploy a limit, stop-loss, and take-profit order.
Crucially, this is a semi-automated trading strategy as the research has been done for you - but you are still required to place the respective position. This gives you a bit more control as you are under no obligation to act on the trading signal.
Automated Trading Robots and EAs
Trading robots - also referred to as EAs, will see you rely on a piece of pre-programmed software. The software file has a set of conditions built into it - which determines whether or not the robot should enter a trade. These pre-defined conditions will also dictate the entry and exit price that the robot takes.
In order to trade in this manner, you first need to obtain a robot from a third-party provider.
There are thousands of options available online - most of which promise unfounded financial returns. This is why you need to test the robot out before risking any money.
You can do this when using an online broker that is compatible with MT4 or MT5 and offers a demo trading facility. Libertex and FXCM are good optoins here.
All you need to do is register with your chosen broker, log in to MT4/5, and then install the robot file. Then, run the robot for as long as you like in demo mode.
This will allow you to see how the automated trading robot performs over the course of several days or weeks.
The main advantage of opting for an automated robot over a Copy Trading tool is that it can scan the markets 24/7. It doesn't suffer from fatigue or emotions - making robots perfect for the volatile nature of online trading.
With that said, the main drawback with an automated robot is that it relies exclusively on technical analysis and historical pricing trends. In other words, it doesn't have the capacity to trade off fundamental news - like a rise in interest rates or political unrest.
How to Start Automated Trading
In this section of our guide, we are going to walk you through the process of using an automated trading platform from the comfort of your home. More specifically, here we show you the steps required to use the automated Copy Trading feature at FCA-regulated broker eToro.
Step 1: Open an Account and Upload ID
Visit the eToro website and open an account. You will be asked to enter your personal information and contact details.
You will also need to upload a copy of your photo ID. You can skip the verification part until you make a withdrawal request - as long as you are not depositing more than $2,250 (about £1,600).
Step 2: Deposit Funds
You will now need to make a deposit. Don't forget, each Copy Trader that you elect to a mirror will require a minimum investment of $500 (about £350).
You can deposit funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or bank transfer.
Step 3: Choose an Automated Copy Trader
This part of the process is the most important - as you need to find an eToro trader that meets your financial goals and tolerance for risk. To get the ball rolling, click on the 'Copy Trading' button from the left side of the dashboard. You will then be presented with a list of top-rated traders that are currently part of the Copy Trading program.
With that said, it might be better if you use the filter system to ensure you only consider traders that align with your objectives. For example, you can specify the asset class that the trader specializes in, the minimum annual return, and the individual's risk rating. Once you click on the 'Apply' button - you can then check the statistics of any traders that catch your eye.
Step 4: Invest in a Copy Trader
Once you have decided which trader you wish to copy, you then need to complete your investment. First, click on the 'Copy' button - which you will find on the top-right hand side of the trader's profile page.
Then, an order box will appear. There are two key pieces of information that you need to provide here:
Amount: This is the amount that you wish to invest in the trader. This needs to be entered in US dollars and at a minimum of $500. In our example, we are investing $1,000 into the trader 'Nintingale'.
Copy Open Trades: If you don't tick the 'Copy Open Trades' button - you will only copy the individual's current portfolio. As such, if you want to copy all ongoing buy and sell positions - make sure you tick the box.
To complete your investment - click on the 'Copy' button.
Step 5: Monitor Your Investment
Within a couple of seconds - your copy trade will be executed by eToro. To keep tabs on how your selected investor is doing - click on the 'Portfolio' button.
You will then get a full breakdown of how your investment is doing in real-time. You can add or remove added to your portfolio at any time. If you want to exit your Copy Trading position - click on the 'Cog' icon followed by 'Stop Copying'.
We have discussed everything there is to know about automated trading in the UK investment scene. Not only have we discussed the many different types of automated trading available - but the best platforms currently in this marketplace. Although there are many providers to choose from - we found that eToro offers the best automated trading platform UK for 20121.
Through its popular Copy Trading tool - you can automate your buy and sell orders by following an experienced investor like-for-like. There are no commissions or platform fees to use this automated trading tool and the minimum investment is just $500 - or about £350.
eToro - Best Automated Trading Platform UK with 0% Commission
67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
What is the best automated trading software?
If you're looking for the best automated trading software to install into MT4 or MT5 - there are thousands of options in the market. It can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff - as most providers claim unprecedented financial returns. This is why you might be better off using the Copy Trading feature at FCA-regulated broker eToro - as all data and historical results are transparent.
How does automated trading work?
This depends on which automated trading strategy you opt for. For example, automated Copy Trading entails mirroring the trades of an experienced investor. You then have automated robots that you can install into third-party platforms like MT4 and MT5. These are fully-automated and trading decisions are based on pre-programmed code.
Do automated trading systems work?
There is no simple answer to this question as it all depends on the respective automated trading system that you are using. Sure, some systems have a good track record of making consistent gains. But, many automated systems eventually end up losing money. This is why you need to do lots of homework before taking the plunge. .
Is automated trading regulated in the UK?
While online forex brokers and trading platforms are regulated by the FCA in the UK, this isn't the case with automated systems. This is because providers are not supplying you with trading facilities. With that said, eToro - which offers automated Copy Trading - is authorized and regulated by the FCA.
What is the minimum investment to use the eToro automated Copy Trading tool?
Due to increased demand, eToro recently increased the minimum Copy Trading investment from $200 to $500.
What is the best auto trading app UK?
FCA-regulated broker eToro offers the best auto trading app UK. The app - which is available on iOS and Android, allows you to copy a successful trader like-for-like without paying any commissions or fees.
What are automated trading algorithms?
Put simply, automated trading algorithms have the ability to buy and sell financial assets in a fully autonomous manner. The algorithm trading strategy is built into a software file - which can then be uploaded to MT4, MT5, cTrader, or another popular third-party platform. The software will only place orders when a pre-programmed condition is triggered.