Always remember that investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you put in. A rule of thumb is to hang on to your investments for at least five years to give them the best chance of providing the returns you are hoping for.

Compare The Best Trading Platforms In The UK

Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Best trading platform UK

Contents:

Best Trading Platforms

Compare some of the best trading platforms in the UK below:

Capital at risk. Other charges apply.


Interactive Investor - One free trade every month; Lots of research

Interactive Investor
Annual Platform Fee
£120 - £240
Dealing Charge
£7.99 - £3.99
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Interactive Investor has more than 40,000 investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. You get a free trade every month, which you can use to buy or sell any investment. The site has lots of expert ideas, research and insights, which can be helpful when choosing investments. Interactive Investor's services include Trading Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, SIPP and Junior ISA.

go to site

eToro - Free trading; Fractional shares; Crypto trading

eToro Logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£0
Regular Investor Charge
£0

eToro is a commission-free multi-asset platform that offers both investing in stocks and crypto assets, as well as trading CFDs. It is entirely free to open an account with eToro, and all registered users receive a US$100,000 demo account for free. You also do not pay trading or platform fees with eToro. Withdrawals incur a fee of US$5, and FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. If you would rather select a ready-made portfolio, eToro has over 40 fully allocated, balanced investment portfolios, focusing on market segments you can understand and to which you can relate. Some of the portfolios include BigTech, DividendGrowth, GoldWorldWide, Vaccine-Med, FoodDrink, BitcoinWorldWide, CyberSecurity, Diabetes-Med, Driverless, GigEconomy, Utilities and many more. These portfolios are a grouping of several assets, such as stocks, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and even people, bundled together based on a predetermined theme or strategy. eToro does not offer ISA or SIPP.

go to site

Fineco Bank - 100 free trades; No platform fee; Cheap share dealing

Fineco Bank Logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£2.95
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Fineco Bank is one of Europe’s largest banks, with 20 years of leadership history in brokerage and over 30 million orders processed every year. Access 26 global markets and trade over 20,000 financial instruments worldwide on a single account. Invest and trade directly in GBP, EUR, USD, Swiss Franc and 20+ currencies. Fineco Bank offers Trading Account and Stocks and Shares ISA.

Promo: Apply with the link below by the 30th of September 2021, and get 100 commission-free trades.

go to site

Hargreaves Lansdown - Lots of research, ideas and tips

Hargreaves Lansdown
Annual Platform Fee
£0
‍‍(Fund & Share Account)
Dealing Charge (Online)
£11.95 - £5.95
Regular Investor Charge
£1.50 per deal

Hargreaves Lansdown has thousands of investments to choose from, including UK and overseas shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. It does not charge a platform fee on its Fund and Share Account but charges 0.45% (capped at £45) a year on its ISA and 0.45% (capped at £200) a year on its SIPP. It offers most products, including Fund and Share Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP. These services are intended for investors happy at making their own decisions. Capital at risk. Other charges apply.

go to site

AJ Bell Youinvest - Cheap if you make 10+ trades a month

AJ Bell Youinvest
Annual Platform Fee
0.25%
(max £3.50 per month)
Dealing Charge (Online)
£9.95 - £4.95
Regular Investor Charge (Online)
£1.50 per deal

AJ Bell Youinvest has thousands of investments to choose from, including individual stocks and shares, funds, investment trusts, and ETFs. Share dealing is cheap if you make 10+ trades a month. AJ Bell Youinvest's services include Share Dealing Account, Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, Junior ISA, and SIPP.

go to site

Stake - Free trading; Fractional shares; Analyst ratings

Stake Logo
Annual Platform Fee
£0
Dealing Charge
£0
Regular Investor Charge
£0

Stake is a global commission-free brokerage that gives you access to 4,500 US stocks and ETFs via a mobile app and web interface. You can choose to upgrade to Stake Black to access more sophisticated features for US$9/month (or US$90 a year). Stake Free gives you access to all assets on the platform, unlimited commission-free trades, advance order types, and fractional trading. Stake Black gives you access to analyst ratings, price targets, full company financials, and trading on unsettled funds. FX rates apply to non-USD deposits and withdrawals. Stake does not offer ISA or SIPP.

Promo: Promo code: KOODY. Stake offers a free stock (Nike, GoPro, Dropbox or a mystery stock) for each new user that opens an account and funds it with at least £50 within 24 hours of opening the account.

go to site

Compare Trading Platforms - Stocks and Shares ISA

Typically, your annual charge depends on whether you hold funds or shares in your stocks and shares ISA. Here, we assume you plan to invest in individual stocks and shares only.

If you plan to invest in funds, use our dedicated investment fees comparison tool for funds or robo-advisors.

The table below shows the annual charges (platform and dealing charges only) for holding individual stocks and shares in a self-select or do-it-yourself ISA.

Self-select ISAs are a type of stocks and shares ISA that give you the freedom to select the specific investments that make up your portfolio.

Depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual shares, bonds, funds, etc., and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of managed and ready-made portfolios.

To make the best use of the table below, click on the column headers to sort from the most expensive to the cheapest trading platform and vice versa.


For example, if you want to see the cheapest online broker for a lump sum investment of £20k, click once on the £20,000 lump sum header. To see the most expensive broker for a lump sum investment of £100k, click twice on the £100,000 lump sum header.


Continue this exercise on all the headers until you find what you are looking for. Then scroll down to read our assumptions and to learn more about self-select ISAs and online stock brokers.

We haven't included any calculations for regular investing, but we note the regular investor charges in the second column. 


The third column shows the share dealing charges for ad hoc investments. 


And the fourth and fifth columns show the annual charges for lump sum investments of £20k and £100k, respectively. 


Capital at risk. ISA rules apply. Other charges apply.


PlatformRegular
Investor Charge
Dealing
Charge
£20,000£100,000 Learn More
AJ Bell Youinvest1.509.95161161DETAILS
Barclays1.006.00120172DETAILS
Best Invest7.50170490DETAILS
Charles Stanley11.50208378DETAILS
Close Brothers8.95157357DETAILS
EQI1.5010.99192407DETAILS
Fineco2.957171DETAILS
Freetrade0.003636DETAILS
Halifax Share Dealing2.009.50150150DETAILS
Hargreaves Lansdown1.5011.95188188DETAILS
iDealing9.90139139DETAILS
IG8.00192192DETAILS
Interactive Investor (Investor)7.99120120DETAILS
Interactive Investor (Funds Fan)7.99168168DETAILS
Interactive Investor (Super Investor)3.99240240DETAILS
iWeb5.00160160DETAILS
Strawberry7.50160340DETAILS
Willis Owen1.507.50170440DETAILS
X-O5.957171DETAILS
Primary Data Source: The Lang Cat

Assumptions

The calculations above are based on the following scenarios:


  1. £20,000 lump sum (a year's ISA allowance)
  2. £100,000 lump sum (if you have some ISAs from previous years and are transferring in)


We also assume that you will make 12 ad hoc deals in the same year.


A deal is either one of buying or selling an investment. It is also called a trade. 


We use the colours green, amber, and red to indicate how expensive or cheap a share dealing platform is compared to the others. The cheapest share dealing platforms are coloured green, the more expensive ones red, and the others amber.


Keep in mind that a platform showing up as green doesn't make it the best trading platform for you as cheap doesn't always equal good. Some of the more expensive trading platforms could have a wider variety of stocks, bonds, funds, ETFs, etc., depending on what you are looking for.


If you are investing small amounts and choose to go with the cheapest share dealing platform for that amount, note that some of the more expensive share dealing platforms become cheaper as your pot increases. Consider Interactive Investor and Halifax Share Dealing, for example.


Additionally, we show the costs which apply to the first year only. It is important to mention this because, with trading platforms like iWeb, your charges reduce after the first year. Whereas with platforms like EQi, your charges might increase after the first year.


Finally, for each online stock broker listed in our stocks and shares ISA comparison table, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).


If you have questions, please ask the community.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best online stock trading site for a beginner?

Here are some of the best online stock brokers for beginners in the UK:

  • Interactive Investor - One free trade per month; lots of research and tips
  • Stake - Free trading; fractional shares; analyst ratings
  • AJ Bell Youinvest - Mid-price range; lots of ideas, insights and tips
  • eToro - Free trading; fractional shares; crypto trading
  • Freetrade - Free trading; fractional shares available

2. What is the best share dealing account in the UK?

Here are some of the best share dealing accounts in the UK:


Use our comparison table above to get a sense of how each platform charges for regular investing and ad hoc share trading.


3. Where can I invest with little money?

Most investment platforms will allow you to start investing with as little as £25. Some even go lower. Freetrade, for example, allows you to start trading in the stock market with as little as £2.


4. What is a brokerage account?

A brokerage account is a taxable investment account used to buy and sell assets such as stocks, shares, bonds, funds and other investments. In the UK, a brokerage account is the same as a General Investment Account (GIA). Other types of accounts which you can use to buy and sell investments are Stocks and Shares ISA and Lifetime ISAs. You can transfer money in and out of your brokerage account just like a bank account.


5. How do I open a brokerage account?

Visit any of the online brokers in the comparison table above and open a General Investment Account (GIA) on their website. With the GIA, you'll be able to buy, sell and hold any investment of your choice.


6. What is a self-select ISA?

A self-select ISA is a type of investment ISA that gives you the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio. And depending on the provider you choose, you'll have the option to either select individual investments and manage your portfolio yourself or choose from a range of ready-made portfolios. 


Self-select ISAs providers are also called Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investment platforms. 


ISAs are entirely tax-free.


7. What types of assets can be held within a self-select ISA?

When you open a self-select ISA with an online trading platform, you can invest in a range of assets, including:

  • Stocks and shares,
  • Funds,
  • Gilts,
  • Bonds,
  • Investment trusts,
  • Units trusts,
  • Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs),
  • Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs), and
  • Structured products.

8. How do I open a self-select ISA?

Use our investment platform comparison tool above to select the best trading platform for you. Then visit the platform's website to apply for an account. Once your account is open, you will be able to choose investments and start building your portfolio. 


If you need help choosing investments, some trading platforms in the table above offer ready-made portfolios and financial advice. Financial advice typically attracts an extra charge.


9. What are the advantages of a self-select ISA?

  • You have the freedom to choose the specific investments that make up your portfolio.
  • You get greater control over the design and management of your portfolio.
  • Your entire portfolio and the dividends received in it are free of capital gains and additional income tax.
  • You pay no advice fee.

10. What are the disadvantages of a self-select ISA?

  • It can be quite risky for inexperienced investors.
  • You need to keep up to date with the markets, which can be tedious and time-consuming. 


If you are unsure about choosing a self-select ISA, it might be worth seeking independent financial advice from a suitably qualified financial adviser.

You might also like 🤓

  1. Interactive Investor vs Stake
  2. Interactive Investor vs eToro
  3. etoro vs Stake
  4. Fineco Bank vs Interactive Investor
  5. Hargreaves Lansdown vs Interactive Investor
  6. Compare Robo Advisors
  7. Compare Investment Platforms
  8. Best Stocks and Shares ISAs
  9. Best Share Dealing Accounts
  10. Best Investment Apps

Credits

  1. The Lang Cat
  2. Gov.uk

Koody Man with Laptop

Subscribe to The Plug

Every month, we'll send you The Plug - a curation of the best personal finance content in the UK. We share real-life stories, how-to guides, top personal finance news, popular community questions, and tips to help you stay on top of your money.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Error: This email cannot be added because it may already be on our list. Please enter a different email address.

Read The Plug