Best Demo Trading Accounts

Explore the top demo trading accounts available to UK traders.

Updated: June 6, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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If you are interested in trading various financial instruments but are unsure how trading works, you might need to practice trading strategies before you begin.

As a beginner trader, diving straight into the trading world can come with risk. Minimising risk is essential to ensure you keep your pounds in your pocket.

One of the best ways to practise trading before you get started in the real world is to use demo trading accounts. Multiple demo trading accounts are available on the market, and you'll need to select one that works for you.

Which is the best demo trading account? Our professionals have completed the research. Read on to find the top six demo accounts for beginner traders and the best option to get started.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67-80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with these provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

ProviderScoreDetails
1. Plus500★★★★★Click Here
2. eToro★★★★★Click Here
3. IG★★★★★Click Here
4. Pepperstone★★★★Click Here
5. FXCM★★★★Click Here
6. City Index★★★★Click Here

What Is a Demo Trading Account?

Demo trading accounts are accounts that beginner traders can practise trading with.

These demo accounts help you learn how trading technologies work. They also help you try out trading strategies. You can learn about trading in a risk-free environment with your practice account without using money from your bank account.

The demo account will have virtual funds to eliminate the chances of losing money rapidly. They also have several other features, which our financial professionals will explore in this article.

Demo Trading Account Pros and Cons

Each demo trading account comes with pros and cons.

Considering these perks and drawbacks before committing to a demo trading account is wise, ensuring you’re aware of what factors to look for when choosing one.

Here are the factors to consider.

Pros

✔️ No risk of losing money — You have no risk of losing money with a demo trading platform. You won't have the option to trade with real money. Therefore, if you make a loss in this virtual environment, you only lose virtual funds.

✔️ Track trends in the market — You will be able to analyse market trends with these accounts. This advantage is possible because you can access market data via the platform. You can view the market conditions in real-time.

✔️ Monitor your performance — As you continue practising, the account will track your performance using a tracking tool. With this benefit, you can determine which areas of your trading skills you need to improve.

Cons

❌️ Limited use — The timeframe for using a free demo account is limited. You might not be able to develop a long-term trading strategy using these accounts. You also might be unable to track the markets for a very long period.

❌️ Inability to make profits — Since the money you use is virtual funds, you cannot make a real profit if you succeed at trading on these accounts. Your efforts in honing skills will not be compensated by real gains on a demo account.

❌️ Less customer support — You may find that many demo accounts lack customer support. You may find it challenging to develop trading skills without this support. You may also find it difficult to resolve technical issues with the platform.

Demo Trading Account Features

Multiple features are available with a demo trading account.

Check the key features below to discover which tools and options you will get with many accounts for trading in a demo environment.

  • Trading simulator — Demo trading accounts use simulators that recreate the virtual market conditions. The simulators also offer virtual funds and tools to track market trends.
  • Virtual funds — Virtual funds are funds you can use in the trading simulator when practising on the demo account. If you are unsuccessful, you don't lose real money. If you are successful, you don't win real money.
  • Market data — These platforms provide real-time quotes for prices, data related to historical prices, the quantity of purchase and sell orders or market depth, news feeds, economic data, and information about the bid and ask prices.
  • Access to virtual exchange-traded funds — You can access and trade exchange-traded funds with demo trading accounts. You can also assess how each exchange-traded fund performs when you trade it and learn how it works.

Best Demo Trading Accounts — Reviews

We used six demo trading accounts to discover which had the best features. In this section, we will reveal the findings of our direct reviews to help you narrow down your choices.

1. Plus500

80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

We used the Plus500 demo account and found that we could view the most popular trading instruments (through CFDs) on the main dashboard. Some examples of the most popular commodities include gold and natural gas. We could view the buy and sell prices on this dashboard and view the changes in price charts.

Also available on the dashboard are watchlist sections, a section for all commodities and all indices.

The watchlist section made it easy to build a list of financial instruments we wanted to monitor. The all-commodities dashboard let us view trading information for all commodities.

We could view our virtual funds clearly at the top of the dashboard and open positions on a separate tab on the Plus500 account. Our future orders were available on the future orders tab. Here, we could monitor the positions on commodities we opened at specific rates.

What we liked about Plus500 was the unlimited time we had to use it. It also replenishes virtual funds when they drop below £200, meaning we could trade without limits in the virtual environment.

We found that this account offers 2,800 financial instruments. The number of financial instruments was not as high as some accounts but gave us plenty to get practicing with.

2. eToro

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. {etoroCFDrisk}% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

When using the eToro demo account, a trading account provider with offices in the UK, we could access our watchlist, portfolio and newsfeed. The portfolio allowed us to view the commodity units and the amount we invested in each commodity. We could also view our equity and virtual funds available.

We could use the trade markets tab to view information about our stocks and commodities, exchange-traded funds and indices, cryptocurrency trading data and currencies.

We could check the stats, look at charts and view news related to each stock or commodity we wanted to trade in the virtual environment.

It was possible to adjust the charts, so they took a different format. This custom feature made it easy to track market changes easily. We also found it easy to buy virtual shares by using the copy people feature. With this feature, we could check other expert traders' trading strategies. 

Although 76% of traders would lose money using the eToro real account's contracts for difference, we could avoid losses and practice sufficiently to hone our trading skills.

We could access more than 5,000 financial instruments with this platform. It was also very easy to set up an account. In just a few clicks, we had entered our details into the registration form. We also found it easy to switch to virtual trading mode by selecting the option on the dashboard.

3. IG

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

When we used IG’s demo account, we could use several features. We were able to view the financial markets and track how they behaved. We gained insights into the best trading options and were also able to set an alert on specific markets. The alerts were ideal for market volatility and price tracking.

Contracts for difference trading were available on the IG demo account. We practised using leverage settings when trading and encountered no financial risk since we were not trading with real money. 

We noticed that a few factors did not apply to our trades. For example, slippage that affects pricing differences between expected and actual prices didn't apply. We also found that out-of-hours price movements and interest adjustments did not apply to our trades on the demo account. 

We found that we could not open some trades with insufficient virtual funds. We also couldn't close trades if we couldn't cover running and margin losses. One positive factor about this account was that we didn't require a separate forex demo account to complete forex trading.

Trying out new strategies was easy with the demo account, even after we had gained trading confidence. We used IG's demo account to gain access to 17,000 markets. Rates, bonds and options were just a few of the other financial instruments we could practice trading.

4. Pepperstone

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.2% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Opening a demo account with Pepperstone was easy — we simply needed to complete their form. Once we had created our account, we had £50,000 worth of virtual funds to practice with. We particularly liked the real market information and data, which helped us learn more about various financial instruments and trends.

We tried a few Pepperstone accounts. With the MT4/5 demo account, we discovered that the account expired after 60 days. We could only access a permanent account for demo purposes that didn't expire when we gained approval for a live option. The permanent account was the cTrader/TV demo account.

When we had insufficient funds in our account, some trades were not executed. We also found that our trades were not closed when we didn't have sufficient margin coverage with our funds. 

When our MT4/5 account expired, we were able to open new ones. The maximum number of MT4/5 accounts we could open was five. On these accounts we could access charts, our watchlist and our positions. 

Slippage, interest and dividends did not apply to our trades on this demo account. We also noticed that our trades did not factor in out-of-hours trade movements. Some of the financial instruments we could trade include forex, cryptocurrency and commodities.

5. FXCM

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

With FXCM, we could practise trading with £50,000 of virtual currency. Although we couldn't withdraw any funds since they were virtual, we could practise with several financial instruments. We gained familiarity with many of them, from forex and contracts for difference to spread betting products.

We could use this platform for free and complete virtual trades for the entire day. This account was accessible for five days a week. Specifically, we could trade leading equities in a practice environment and access commodities markets.

We liked the fact that we could view live sell and buy prices on the platform. Charts and graphs made it easy to view market data. Although the accounts expire if they are inactive for 30 days, it was possible to make multiple demo accounts with FXCM.

Signing up was not complicated. From the sign-in page, we clicked “file” and “open an account”. Once we had completed the required information, we could begin trading in the virtual environment. 

6. City Index

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

We used the City Index demo trading account and received £10,000 of virtual currency. For 12 weeks, we could use this virtual money to practise trading. To sign up, we just needed to enter our details and click “submit” on the main page.

Once we had logged in, we were able to access 13,500 markets. The market information included real-time pricing on shares, indices, commodities and forex.

The platform offered a few advanced features. For example, we could view TradingView charts and look at Trading Central analyses to check market data easily. We learned how to determine the underlying value of an asset and could look at the top trading tips to improve our trading strategies.

Regarding account support, we could receive demo trading support with our account. The support team offered in-depth information about our service so we could practice and gain confidence

Which Demo Trading Account Is the Best?

Two of the best demo trading accounts are Plus500 and eToro. Both of these accounts are ideal for practice trading.

They offer user-friendly layouts and many trading instruments to get familiar with. eToro offers more trading instruments than Plus500. While eToro offers 5,000, Plus500 offers 2,800. However, each platform offers various unique features. 

eToro's copy trades feature enables you to build a network of traders and hone your trading experience. It provides unlimited virtual funds, so you can practice frequently. Plus500 offers constant customer support, ensuring you can make enquiries when required. It also offers a user interface that is easy to navigate and suits experienced and beginner traders.

Best Demo Trading Accounts: The Verdict

Beginner traders may find it challenging to enter the world of CFD trading, trading stocks, commodities, forex or cryptocurrency; however, demo accounts can help. If you need a way to start understanding advanced trading tools or avoid losing money rapidly when trading spread bets, a demo account is ideal.

Although approximately two-thirds of retail investor accounts lose money when they trade with some providers, the easiest way is to practice trading. Choose a demo trading account to begin your trading journey and refine your strategies. You'll soon become a seasoned expert and prepare yourself to start using a live trading account.

Related Guides:

FAQs

What Is the Difference Between a Demo and a Real Trading Account?

Can I Withdraw Money From Demo Accounts?

Is Demo Trading Really Useful?

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