Explore the best free trading platforms in the United Kingdom to begin trading as an investor.
Best Free Trading Platforms
Top free trading platforms in the UK offer multiple benefits. If you're interested in starting to trade stocks or financial instruments, you may be considering using a free trading platform.
Whether you are one of the passive or active traders, you can get commission-free trading benefits with these platforms.
Our #1 CFD Trading Platform in 2024
Invest in the most popular shares with no deposit or withdrawal fees!Visit Plus500
81% 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.
Selecting one of these types of software can be challenging. You'll need to look closely at their essential features and compare them carefully. We have used and reviewed the best options available on the UK market to assist with this. Which is the best free trading platform in the UK?
When you invest, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
|2. Trading 212
|3. Interactive Brokers
What Is a Free Trading Platform?
If you've researched free trading platforms, you'll know they are software options allowing you to purchase and sell financial instruments. You'll also know they offer commission-free trading and no or very low other fees.
These platforms give you access to the stock market and financial instruments. They can take the form of free stock trading apps or online platforms. Through these platforms, you can easily manage market positions. You can complete ETF trades and capitalise on the best free stock trading features. They also offer options to trade commodities.
These platforms generate revenue from the buy-sell spread, margin lending and upgrade service fees. They also make revenue from payment for order flow.
What Are the Features of a Free Trading Platform?
Free trading platforms offer multiple features. Let's look at a few of the main features you may be able to use with the top free trading platform options.
- Intuitive interface — With a user-friendly interface, you’ll easily get used to these platforms. These platforms are easily navigable and provide a dashboard you can customise. These features ensure you can make your trading experience unique and execute trades with minimal difficulty.
- Current market data — You can access real-time market data on these platforms. This feature gives you the most current information about market trends. Other data you can access include charts and stock market prices. Every decision you make when trading should be informed. For this reason, market data is important.
- Portfolio performance tracking features — Accessing portfolio tracking features on these platforms is possible. These features will track your investment portfolio performance. It will give you insights into the asset allocation and how each investment performs.
- Accessibility via mobile — With the platforms that also come with free stock trading apps, you can access your portfolio from a mobile device. This feature means you can trade wherever you have internet access and access your portfolio when you're on the go.
- Watchlists you can customise — You can also customise watchlists with these platforms. This option means you can add stocks or financial instruments you want to monitor. You can take financial instruments off the list or edit your lists as you wish. Plus, you can set up an alert so the platform notifies you about price changes.
- Analysis and research tools — With these platforms, you can access research and analysis tools. You can look at the recent stock news and evaluate your investment opportunities in financial instruments.
Pros and Cons of Free Trading Platforms
As a trader, it helps to know the benefits and disadvantages of free trading platforms.
With this knowledge, you can consider whether a free platform is worth your time. Consider the benefits and disadvantages listed here before you choose one.
✔️ Trades without commission — You can trade stocks without paying the platform providers a commission. This advantage means you can save money and keep transaction fees low when using the platform.
✔️ Educational resources — With these platforms, you can access educational resources. These features ensure you discover everything you need about trading and investing. They're ideal if you are a beginner trader and must perfect your trading game.
✔️ Social trading options — You can access social trading options using these platforms. With these options, you can discover how successful traders complete trades and copy their trading strategy.
✔️ Community — With these platforms, you can often access a community to learn more about trading strategies. The vast user base serves as a platform to hold discussions and share trading insights.
✔️ Diversification of portfolio — Using trading platforms, you will be able to diversify your portfolio. This benefit is possible because you can invest in several options, such as exchange-traded funds, stocks and shares. You will be able to spread your investment and reduce potential risk by not putting all your effort into one investment or type of trade.
❌️ Research tools may be limited — When you compare free trading platforms to paid ones, you may notice that the research tools have fewer features. This limitation might not be useful if you are a beginner or experienced trader looking to discover more about specific stocks to trade.
❌️ Insufficient customer support — These platforms may lack or provide insufficient customer support. This disadvantage means you may not receive support if you encounter technical issues.
❌️ Reduced execution times — Compared with paid platforms, these services may have reduced, that is, slower execution times. This disadvantage means that you may lose when trading during periods of high market volatility because the price may change when executing the trade.
❌️ Restrictions on specific markets — These platforms may restrict trades on some markets or securities. This disadvantage means that some financial instruments may be inaccessible to trade. It's important to check which financial instruments are available to trade on free trading platforms before you choose one.
Best Free Trading Platforms UK — Reviews
We tried using 10 low cost and free trading platforms in the United Kingdom to find out which had the best features.
This section will look at our first-hand, direct reviews and explore the features in great detail.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% 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 noticed why Plus500 is one of the best trading platforms globally. In some regards, this platform is free in terms of commissions, and most of its services are free.
For example, the platform does not ask for withdrawal, deposit, platform usage or custodial fees. There are only a few fees to consider, and the platform makes its compensation from bid and ask spreads. It offers plenty of trading tools, including its +Insights and economic calendar.
With Plus500, we could trade financial instruments of multiple types. We had access to plenty of markets from crypto and indices, forex and commodities, shares and options, and exchange-traded funds.
We found it easy to search for these market options. For example, we could look for the popular shares across multiple countries with minimal effort.
We liked the fact that Plus500 offers an alert feature. This feature gave us notifications, text messages, or emails in a live environment. We could choose these alerts for prices, daily or hourly change in terms of percentages, and traders' sentiments regarding buyers vs sellers. It was not difficult to set the alert; we just had to click the bell icon and input the alert trigger, such as the required price.
The minimum deposit required for this platform was £100.
Pros of Plus500
✅ Comprehensive selection of financial instruments
✅ Easy to use platform
✅ Plenty of tools for trading and research
Cons of Plus500
❌️ Comes with the risk of losing account funds, like most trading platforms
2. Trading 212
When investing, your capital is at risk and you may get back less than invested. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future results.
Making commission-free trades with Trading 212 was easy. We could trade with leverage, go long or short, and access major markets. We found it easy to buy stocks in a matter of seconds. We did this by selecting the company, setting the amount we wanted to invest, and selecting the “buy” option.
Some markets we could access included stocks, commodities, forex and indices. Some leverage margins we could trade with include 1:5 for stocks and exchange-traded funds and 1:10 for various other commodities.
Although there were overnight holding fees to pay, which varied, we benefitted from zero custody fees, which helped us keep our money in our pocket. Deposits and withdrawals cost us nothing.
Trading212 allowed us to gain support for technical issues related to the trading platform. It also provided live information about the stocks, which helped us make informed trading decisions.
The minimum deposit requirement for this account was £1.
Pros of Trading212
✅ Good technical support
✅ Useful live stock information
✅ Provides access to various major markets
Cons of Trading212
❌️ Overnight holding fees apply
3. Interactive Brokers
Investing in financial products involves taking risk. Your investments may increase or decrease in value, and losses may exceed the value of your original investment.
Interactive Brokers makes our list since it offers commission-free ETF trades. They offer free stock trading in a trial option, a desktop trading platform, and an app that gives access to stocks, options, and futures. The app allowed us to trade additional financial instruments, such as currencies, bonds, and more.
Other platforms with the Interactive Brokers account were available, such as the Trader Workstation for active traders and the IBKR API feature, with which we could create a specific trading solution using their APIs.
Portfolio monitoring was one of the features we liked, as was the IBKR GlobalAnalysis option. We could see which of our investment trades were performing well and analyse other markets with these features. Specifically, with the GlobalAnalyst feature, we could search by region, asset class, industry, and currency to find information about financial instruments to trade.
Margin trading, or trading with leverage, was available on the Interactive Brokers platform. The user interface for buying stock did not allow us to purchase them from the market screen. However, the desktop app was easier to use than other online brokerages.
Pros of Interactive Brokers
✅ Full selection of financial instruments
✅ Easy to search for markets and analyse them
Cons of Interactive Brokers
❌️ User interface didn't permit stock purchases from the market screen
All investments involve risk, and not all risks are suitable for every investor. The value of securities may fluctuate and as a result, clients may lose more than their original investment. The past performance of a security, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Keep in mind that while diversification may help spread risk, it does not assure a profit or protect against loss in a down market. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities or other financial products. Investors should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing.
Using Webull, we could make trades of US stocks and pay no platform fees. We did not need to make a minimum deposit, either. We could access a zero-commission account with an introductory promotion. However, we had to transition to another price range once this period ended.
We could also trade China stocks with this platform to diversify our portfolio. We had to pay a commission for this, but we could avoid the commission for 90 days with the promotion.
The platform provides charts and analysis, giving us powerful insights into the US stocks we wanted to trade. The charting tools were customisable, and stock comparison options were available. For example, we could compare one stock with another in a chart.
Their platform offers a support section with various frequently asked questions. We found this section useful when we needed more information about US market trading hours, how to trade fractional shares, and whether Webull recommends trade ideas.
Pros of Webull
✅ Introductory promotion helps save money
✅ Charting tools are ideal for getting powerful insights
Cons of Webull
❌️ Lack of financial instruments to trade
When you invest, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
The Freetrade platform, which also comes as one of the best trading apps, did not ask us for any commissions when we used it. The free stock trading app and platform enabled us to access and trade more than 4,800 UK, US and European stocks.
Some stocks we could trade include real estate investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, special purpose acquisition companies and investment trusts.
This platform offers a foreign currency exchange option and access to trading options.
We liked the option to learn about the benefits of a long-term investment strategy through their educational resources section. This information helped us perfect our investment methods and trades. We also liked the stock market analysis and news feature. These options kept us up to date with recent market information.
With the live pricing option, we could get a good idea of the price at which our investments traded. While the execution price often varied, this feature was a good guide.
Pros of Freetrade
✅ Range of financial instruments, including forex
✅ Good educational resources section
Cons of Freetrade
❌️ Although the basic account is free, the standard and plus accounts require a fee
Investments involve risks and are not suitable for all investors. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72% 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 Admirals, we noticed that there were no fees for commissions. We could sign up for free and access hundreds of stocks, exchange-traded funds, fractional shares and contracts for difference.
The stocks and funds via contracts for difference were also commission-free.
Commissions and fees for bank transfers and Visa and Mastercard deposits were free, and we could get one free withdrawal each month. We could also access a range of shares, such as Apple, Netflix, Tesla Motors, Amazon.com and Meta Platforms.
Some exchange-traded fund options we could trade included the iShares Silver Trust ETF and the Invesco QQQ Trust Series 1 ETF.
This easy-to-use platform let us trade with leverage and access free real-time charts. The market news and research were also free to use on the Trade.MT5 platform.
Pros of Admirals
✅ A range of financial instruments available
✅ Plenty of stocks and shares available
Cons of Admirals
❌️ The platform doesn't offer customer support at all times
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% 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.
Commission-free trading is available with XTB. The platform expects no account opening or account maintenance fees if you are an active trader. This feature applied to us regardless of our account balance. There was no minimum deposit required and no fee to make a deposit.
As long as we made withdrawals over £50, we did not have to pay a withdrawal fee.
With XTB, we could trade exchange-traded funds, commodities, stocks, forex and indices. Some stocks we could trade included Netflix, Amazon, and Tesla.
Regarding exchange-traded funds, we could trade with leverage. The margin started at 10%. We could purchase and sell ETFs whenever we wanted without additional monthly turnover fees.
We could access market analysis features and a market calendar that tracked the movements of commodities and stocks. For instance, we could see that the US and European stock markets were higher during one period and declined afterwards.
Educational resources, such as articles, were available on the XTB platform. Using these resources, we could learn more about trading. For example, we learned the seven key steps needed to make our first trade after exploring global financial instruments.
Pros of XTB
✅ High-quality tools for analysis of markets
✅ Large selection of financial instruments such as commodities, forex and stocks
Cons of XTB
❌️ Lack of deposit and withdrawal options with this platform
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75% 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 Capital.com, we found that it was a commission-free broker. They did not charge us commissions on any of our trades.
Many services were free, including the chance to open an account at no cost, close an account, add deposits to our account, withdraw money from the account, or convert currency.
We could access multiple financial instruments to trade. For example, contracts for differences on forex, commodities and indices were available to trade. Shares were also another instrument we could trade.
We liked the market updates and economic calendar Capital.com offers. It showed how the commodities and shares markets fluctuated. We could customise these calendars to view the fluctuations over different timeframes.
Mobile trading platform options are available with Capital.com, as are guides on forex, stock, indices and commodities trading. These guides helped us brush up on our trading knowledge before trading these financial instruments with this platform.
Pros of Capital.com
✅ Mobile trading platform options available
✅ Large range of customisable tools available to check the markets
Cons of Capital.com
❌️ Despite its educational resources, beginner investors may struggle to learn about trading and investing
Investing places your capital at risk.
With Degiro, many features of the platform's brokerage accounts were free. For example, there was no inactivity fee or fees for withdrawals, deposits, custody fees or real-time quotes.
The platform did not charge us a commission fee for selected ETFs, but there was a commission free for handling ETFs, a commission for US stocks and London Stock Exchange markets, global ETFs and options.
All the fees were very low, and after paying, we could trade many financial instruments. Bonds and commodities were a few additional examples of financial instruments we could trade.
We liked the investors academy in the knowledge centre section and the strategies section. We could learn about technical analysis and short selling via these sections, and refined our strategies when completing offensive investing to limit risk.
The trading platform offers a beginner, experienced and expert set of features and tools, such as financial news for beginners, interactive graphs and a 10-layer deep order book about Euronext. We could also access large amounts of financial data.
Pros of Degiro
✅ Good strategies advice section in the knowledge centre
✅ Tailored tools for beginner, experienced and expert traders
Cons of Degiro
❌️ Fees apply to some features, so the platform isn't entirely free
Best Free Trading Platforms: The Verdict
Free trading platforms are ideal for commission-free trading but offer more than that. They can help you refine your market knowledge and review how your portfolio is performing. It's worth looking into these platforms if you want to start trading.
By checking our list, you have the perfect collection of the ideal trading platforms that will cost you no commissions or expect you to pay very low fees. Use this as a starting point and compare these options to select one. Once you're ready, create your account and begin trading various securities or financial instruments. Start earning returns through dividends, but always be aware of the risks involved.
Best Free Trading Platform UK: FAQs
What Is the Best Trading Platform for Beginners UK?
The best trading platform for beginners and the easiest to use in the United Kingdom is Plus500. This platform is beginner-friendly because it offers handy resources to help you begin trading. It provides educational resources and has an easy and clean user interface. If you need to practice using it, the demo account is available.
Is Freetrade Actually Free?
The Freetrade basic account has no fee. If you choose the Freetrade standard account or the Freetrade plus option, you must pay a monthly fee. The standard account has monthly fees of £5.99. The Plus account has monthly fees of £11.99. Other fees may apply, such as same-day withdrawal or foreign exchange fees. The foreign exchange fees apply when you purchase overseas shares.
Which Is the Best Free Trading Platform?
Some of the best free trading platforms include Plus500, Robinhood and Webull. Some alternative options that are also good include Interactive Brokers and XTB. However, it’s important to compare all these platforms before selecting one. It’s worth looking at their features in detail before you begin trading stocks or other financial instruments.
Which Other Features or Tools Should You Look for in a Trading Platform?
A few other features or tools to look for in a trading platform include search functions and security. If you need to search for stocks, you can do this easily if the platform offers a search function. Security is an essential feature you need to look for. Consider platforms requiring multifactor authentication to minimise cybersecurity risks and protect your account’s money.
Do I Need a Lot of Money to Trade Stocks?
The majority of online brokerages will allow you to start trading stocks without access to high sums of money. They often do not demand an account minimum. It’s also possible to purchase fractional shares of stocks or exchange-traded funds if you want to get started.
Can I Practice Trading for Free?
Yes, it’s relatively easy to practice trading at no cost. You can just use a trading simulator to get started. These simulators are often known as demo accounts. With these tools, your trades will be virtual. You won’t earn money or be able to withdraw money, but you can trade without losing money to hone your abilities, learn about the trading platforms and improve your trading strategies.
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