Compare Our 4 Best Online Trading Platforms UK

Compare some of the best trading platforms that can make it easier for you to trade the shares you want.

  • Find online trading accounts that suit your needs
  • Invest in some of the most valuable companies such as Amazon and Microsoft
  • Award-winning providers

Compare online stock trading accounts from leading providers

You'll only find results from genuine companies. Our data experts check each company before we add them to our comparisons.

How to start stock trading online

1

Open a stock trading account

A share dealing account is what allows you to buy and sell shares.

2

Add money to it

This is the money you want to use to invest in shares.

3

Buy the shares you want

Find and purchase the shares you want.

4

Sell shares if you chose to

When the stock price of your shares rises, you can sell them to make a profit.

Online stock trading platform deals

Your investments are not guaranteed; they can decrease in value as well as increase and you may not get back the full amount you put in.

5 results found, sorted by affiliated products. How we order our comparisons. Commission earned affects the table's sort order.
Sort

Compare another type of share dealing

What is online stock trading?

Sometimes called 'share dealing' or 'share trading', online stock trading is the buying and selling of shares in publicly traded companies listed on the stock exchange.

Interest in stock trading in the UK has been increasing in recent years, with about 13.5% of UK shares being owned by UK residents¹.

During the COVID-19 pandemic this interest soared thanks to the availability of commission-free stock trading apps and the rise of 'meme stocks' such as GameStop that made headlines in early 2021.

What is a share?

A 'share' is a unit of ownership in a particular company. Share dealing allows you to buy stock in publicly listed companies such Apple, Facebook or Google and then sell that stock for a profit if the price of the stock rises in future.

How do stock prices change?

The price of a single share of a company is calculated by dividing the total market value of the company by the number of shares.

This price rises and falls due simple supply and demand factors. If there are more buyers of a particular stock than people willing to sell, the stock price will likely rise. If there are more sellers in the market than buyers, the stock price usually drops.

Finding the best online stock trading platform

Stock trading platforms can come in the form of desktop software, web-based platforms, or even smartphone apps. When looking for the best trading platform, UK residents should think about these factors:

Fees

All online market trading platforms, UK wide, charge you a fee for each transaction you make. This is the case whether you want to buy shares online or sell them.

Ease of use

Online stock trading can be complex. Often you'll need to respond quickly to market changes. So look for a share dealing platform that lets you make fast, accurate, hassle-free trades.

Access to data and research

The best trading platforms, UK wide, will give real-time market updates or broker analysis on individual stock. This information can be helpful to decide on which shares to buy.

Trade options

Look at what options are available for you to buy shares or sell them. Can you buy or sell shares at a set price? Are stop loss orders an option? This will help reduce your risk.

Margin loans

Some people borrow money to help build their investment portfolio. If you want to do this, check to see if your share dealing platform or online broker offers margin loans.

Security

How secure is the platform? Security is vital to make sure your funds are safe. Typically, the best trading platforms have robust features in place to protect your investments.

Which is the best stock trading app for beginners?

There is no definitive answer to which is the best online trading platform, UK wide. When you're choosing a trading platform you should think about factors such as:

  • Design and ease of use

  • Share selection

  • Extra features.

The best stock trading app should offer you a wide variety of stocks to trade. If it has a limited share selection, and the shares you want to buy aren't on the app, you could miss out on important money-making opportunities.

Some stock trading apps offer extra features, like demo accounts and stop loss functions.

What is the best trading platform?

Some well-known and reputed stock trading platforms include:

Trading PlatfromPlatform FeeShare dealing chargeInvestment Options
Degiro£0£2.03Shares, ETFs, Options, Futures
IG£8£8Shares, ETFs, Funds
Interactive Investor£9.99£7.99International shares, Funds, Investment trusts, ETFs
Hargreaves Lansdown£0£11.95Shares, ETFs, Funds
Saxo Markets£0£8 Shares, ETFs, Funds
Be aware that these fees can vary depending on how frequently you trade, the amount you invest and the type of investment you choose.

What to think about before you invest ...

1

Only invest what you can afford to lose

Stock trading is risky as the value of stocks can rise and fall because of external economic factors. This means that you might get back less money than you originally invested.

2

Start with small investments

This'll give you time to get used to the process of buying and selling shares on trading platform that you've chosen. This is especially important if you're new to online stock trading.

3

Do your research

Research each company you want to buy and sell shares from. Visiting their website and search for economic news stories about them as well as look at how they're performing and have performed historically.

Salman Haqqiquotation mark
Online stock trading is about risk and reward, but there are ways to minimise you risk by doing the research, picking a platform to suits your financial circumstances and being patient if the market takes a dip.
Salman Haqqi, Investment Editor

Top tips to for online stock trading

Although everyone has their own particular investment needs and goals, the end goal is essentially the same - make as much of a return on your investment as you can.

Here are some tips based on conventional wisdom that investors can keep in mind:

  • Think long term. Unless you're an expert trader with knowledge of the day-to-day intricacies of the stock market, trying to make short-term gains is probably not a good idea. Instead, if you're thinking of investing in stocks, be prepared to tie your money up for at least five years. That covers any market fluctuations from affecting your eventual return on investment.

  • Diversify your portfolio. Investing in a variety of different industries, maximises returns by investing in different areas that would react differently to the same economic developments.

  • Don't panic. Many investors often panic when the market has a momentary dip and follow other people into selling. Highs and lows are part of investing in the stock market, and it can be more profitable to be patient and ride it out.

Online stock trading FAQs

To start online stock trading you'll need to open an online stock trading account. Once you've opened a trading account you can transfer the amount of money you want to use to trade into the account. You can then use that money to buy and sell shares.

No, only companies that are listed on stock exchanges, like the London Stock Exchange (LSE) or the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Certificated share dealing is when you buy or sell paper share certificates, as opposed to digitally traded shares. You can find certificated share dealing accounts here.

If you plan to make several trades each month a frequent trader account could reduce your cost per trade. Check the terms with each company.

Many people think you need a lot of money to start stock trading, but that's not necessarily true.

You can start with just a few hundred pounds, and increase how much you invest gradually as you get a better sense of the market and also have more money to invest.

Yes, but only if the company offers one. You still need to open an account online and add money before you can make any trades on the app.

When you instruct a broker to carry out a trade, the broker goes to the post where the stock is being traded. If this broker has a buy order of say 100 shares and another broker has a sell order for the same share, the brokers negotiate and settle the deal. 

Otherwise the broker must go to specialist who deals with the kind of shares you want to buy.

By owning shares in a company you become eligible to receive dividend payments up to four times a year. However, you will only be paid if the company has:

  • Made a profit (after-tax)

  • Agreed to pay out dividends (through an AGM vote)

If you are paid dividends from your shares, you will likely get the choice to use the money to buy more shares or to be paid in cash.

A stop-loss order is an order placed with a broker to buy or sell once the stock reaches a certain price. The purpose of a stop-loss order is to limit losses.

For example, if the stop loss order is set to 5% below the price you bought the shares, the broker will sell the shares if the price of the stock falls by 5%.

If your shares are held in an ISA, you will not need to pay tax on your profit or purchases.

If they are not in an ISA, you may need to pay stamp duty and capital gains tax.

Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) will be 0.5% of the trade's value if you buy UK shares that are settled through CREST (the UK electronic settlement system).

The amount of capital gains tax you pay when you sell your shares will depend on your income tax bracket and how much money you make from the sale. In the 2021/22 tax year, capital gains tax is 10% for basic rate taxpayers and 20% for higher and additional rate taxpayers.

There is a capital gains tax-free allowance of £12,300 for the 2021/22 tax year. This means your gains would need to exceed £12,300 in order for you to be required to pay capital gains tax.

Using a regulated stock trading platform ensures that your trading is safe and secure. But that doesn't take away from the fact that stock trading is an inherently risky activity. This is why you should trade with more money than you are willing to use. At the same, educate yourself about trading by reading books and news articles to increase your knowledge.

About our share dealing accounts comparison

Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Here is more information about how our website works.

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.

Explore stock trading guides

See more guides

Stacks of coins symbolising investment

How to start investing in shares

Has your savings rate got you looking for alternative ways to use your hard-earned money? Whether it's for long term growth or to generate income, investing in shares can be a profitable way to use your savings!

Read More
business-people-in-meeting

How are investments taxed?

You may have to pay extra types of tax if you make money from your investments. Here is how your investments are taxed and how your tax band can affect what you pay.

Read More
Man in mask and suit looking through a telescope at covid dna

Tips on investing in times of financial uncertainty

Making investments during financial uncertainty can be particularly unnerving. The personal finance at money.co.uk have pulled together some tips to guide you during these times.

Read More

Why compare online trading platforms with money.co.uk?

Comparing stock trading accounts could save you money. Our multiple award-winning comparison service makes sure you get the lowest fees and charges possible based on your individual circumstances. Our aim is to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as well as useful tools and calculators so to help you make life's most important decisions and take control of your money.

Proud to be award winning

We have always aimed to provide the best possible services to bridge the gap between our users and our clients. Over the years, we have been thrilled to be recognised by various prestigious bodies and organisations for those efforts.

¹Based on data from the 'Ownership of UK quoted shares' report by ons.gov.uk

Last updated: 30 September, 2021