Stock brokers enable UK investors to buy and sell shares online in a safe and secure environment.

Choosing the right stock broker is an important part of the investment process, so investors will need to consider factors such as fees, supported share markets, minimum deposit requirements, user-friendliness, and more.

In this comparison guide, we help clear the most by reviewing the 7 best stock brokers in the UK for 2024.

The Best UK Stock Brokers for Beginners 2024

Looking to buy shares right now via the best stock brokers in the UK? If so, check out our online stock brokers list below:

  1. XTB – Trade UK and International Stocks at 0% Commission
  2. AvaTrade – Advanced Trading Features and Analysis Tools
  3. Pepperstone – Top Spread Betting Platform for Tax-Free Stock Trading
  4. IG – Buy and Sell More Than 13,000 UK and International Shares
  5. Hargreaves Lansdown – Trusted Broker Offering Stocks and Shares ISAs
  6. Capital.com – Trade Nearly 3,000 Global Shares at 0% Commission
  7. CMC Markets – Online Trading Platform for Spread Betting and CFDs

Read on the choose the best online stock broker in 2024 by reading our comprehensive platform reviews.

7 Best Stock Brokers UK Reviewed

There are many metrics to explore when attempting to select the overall best online stock broker in the UK.

For instance, it is important to assess what shares the broker supports and whether or not this includes international markets, such as those in the US and Europe.

It is also important to consider fees, commissions, and minimum account requirements, not to mention the regulatory status of the stock broker.

Below, we evaluate the above factors and more by reviewing the 8 best stock brokers for UK investors.

1. XTB – Trade UK and International Stocks at 0% Commission     

XTB is one of the best stock brokers for active traders. XTB supports contracts-for-differences (CFDs), which track the real-world value of a stock. As such, while traders at XTB will not own the underlying shares, the platform still enables UK clients to speculate on the future value of the respective company.

And, by choosing XTB for short-term stock trading, UK clients will not pay a single penny in commission. Furthermore, XTB offers some of the tightest spreads in the market, so overall, fees are super-competitive. XTB is also ideal for trading stocks with leverage. In line with FCA limits, UK clients can trade stocks with leverage of up to 1:5.

XTB review

This means that a £1,000 stock trading position requires an account balance of just £200. Furthermore, XTB enables UK clients to go short on stocks. This means that traders can make a profit if the value of the stock goes down. This can come in handy when the broader stock markets are on the decline.

In total, XTB supports more than 1,850 stocks from a wide variety of markets. In addition to UK shares, this also includes companies based in the US and more than a dozen European exchanges. XTB also supports UK and global ETFs, alongside commodities and indices. XTB is also considered one of the most popular forex brokers in the UK for active currency traders.

XTB has its own native trading platform – xStation, which can be accessed online or via a mobile app for iOS and Android. Opening an XTB account takes less than five minutes and this popular UK CFD broker accepts debit and credit cards on a fee-free basis. Although Skrill is accepted too, this attracts a 2% deposit fee.

Number of Stocks 1,850+
Pricing System No deposit fees when using a debit card. 2% deposit fee when using Skrill.
Fee to Trade Amazon Shares 0% commission
Min. Deposit No minimum
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app (xStation)
Top Features FCA-regulated, 0% commission trading, leverage of up to 1:5 on stocks, fee-free debit card deposits

Pros

  • Best stock trading platform in the UK for CFDs
  • No minimum deposit and fee-free debit card payments
  • 0% commission on all supported stocks
  • Authorized and regulated by the FCA

Cons

  • UK clients cannot trade cryptocurrencies

81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

2. AvaTrade – Advanced Trading Features and Analysis Tools 

AvaTrade is an established trading platform that is regulated in multiple jurisdictions. It offers a safe and secure environment to trade a wide range of CFD instruments, including UK and international stocks. AvaTrade also supports tradable markets for forex, hard and soft commodities, indices, bonds, ETFs, and more.

As is the case with most CFD brokers in the UK, AvaTrade offers leverage and short-selling capabilities. All supported markets can be traded without paying any commission. Moreover, we found that AvaTrade spreads are generally very competitive. AvaTrade is, however, perhaps more suitable for experienced stock traders.

AvaTrade review

This is because the AvaTrade suite comes packed with advanced tools and features. This enables traders to perform high-level chart analysis through dozens of technical and economic indicators. Moreover, AvaTrade supports both MT4 and MT5. Our UK stock broker comparison found the minimum first-time deposit at AvaTrade is £100. Instant deposits via debit/credit cards are available.

Number of Stocks 620+
Pricing System No deposit or withdrawal fees
Fee to Trade Amazon Shares 0% commission
Min. Deposit £100
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app, alongside MT4, MT5, and Duplitrade.
Top Features Licensed in nine jurisdictions, established in 2006, no commissions charged on any supported market.

Pros

  • Heavily regulated broker
  • Supports a wide range of fee-free payment methods
  • Fast account opening process

Cons

  • Limited number of shares when compared to other brokers

76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

3. Pepperstone – Top Spread Betting Platform for Tax-Free Stock Trading

Pepperstone is one of the best UK stock brokers for spread betting. Put simply, spread betting enables UK clients to speculate on the future value of stocks without owning the underlying shares. And just like CFDs, leverage and short-selling are supported. But crucially, when spread betting stocks at Pepperstone, the process is entirely tax-free.

This is because spread betting profits sit within the ‘gambling’ category in the UK, so capital gains are immune from tax. At Pepperstone, stocks from the UK, US, Australia, and Germany can be traded. There are no commissions to pay at Pepperstone, so stocks can be traded on a spread-only basis.

Pepperstone review

Pepperstone does not have its own proprietary trading platform but it does support plenty of popular third-party options, such as MT4, MT5, cTrader, and TradingView. Alongside, stocks, Pepperstone also offers tradable markets for forex, indices, commodities, and ETFs. Deposits are processed by Pepperstone fee-free across debit/credit cards, Paypal, and bank transfers.

Number of Stocks 1,200+markets in total, including UK and international stocks
Pricing System No deposit or withdrawal fees. Spread-only trading on all markets.
Fee to Trade Amazon Shares 0% commission
Min. Deposit No minimum
Trading Platforms No proprietary platform – but supports MT4, MT5, cTrader, and TradingView
Top Features Tax-free spread betting markets, suitable for traders of all budget levels, leverage offered on all supported assets

Pros

  • Best platform for buying stocks via the spread betting markets
  • Spread-only pricing system
  • No minimum deposit requirement

Cons

  • Does not have its own proprietary trading suite

78.8% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. IG – Buy and Sell More Than 13,000 UK and International Shares

IG is an established trading platform and one of the best stock brokers for beginners in the UK. In total, IG offers access to more than 13,000 shares from the UK and international markets. IG does not offer commission-free trading. Instead, IG clients will need to pay a flat commission on each share investment.

This amounts to a commission of £8 when trading UK shares, in addition to 0.5% in stamp duty tax. By executing three or more traders in the prior month, the £8 commission is reduced to £3. When buying and selling US-listed shares like Apple and Amazon, a commission of £10 is charged. This is reduced to £0 when trading three or more times in a calendar month.

IG review

Do note, however, that US shares will also attract a 0.5% foreign exchange fee. In addition to shares, IG also enables UK clients to invest in funds and investment trusts. IG also supports CFD markets, which will appeal to traders that seek leverage and/or short-selling capabilities.

Number of Stocks 13,000+
Pricing System £8 on UK shares, reduced to £3 when trading 3 or more times in a month.
Fee to Buy Amazon Shares £10, or £0 is trading 3 or more times in a month. Plus a 0.5% FX fee.
Min. Deposit No minimum on bank transfers. £250 when opting for a debit card.
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app, alongside MT4 and ProRealTime
Top Features Simple investment platform for buying shares, established in 1974, no minimum deposits on bank transfers

Pros

  • Supports more than 13,000 shares
  • Also supports funds and investment trusts
  • Established in 1974 and FCA-regulated

Cons

  • High share dealing fees

5. Hargreaves Lansdown – Trusted Broker Offering Stocks and Shares ISAs

Hargreaves Lansdown is one of the best UK stock brokers for investing in shares via an ISA. This stock broker supports thousands of shares from the UK, as well as international exchanges like the NYSE and NASDAQ. The Hargreaves Lansdown stock investment platform is simple to use and thus – requires no prior experience.

Hargreaves Lansdown review

However, we should note that Hargreaves Lansdown won’t be suitable for investors that are in the market for cheap stock brokers in the UK. Put simply, Hargreaves Lansdown charges a flat dealing fee of £11.95 when buying and selling shares. Moreover, if investing through a UK ISA, there is a 0.45% annual fee to pay.

Number of Stocks Several thousand stocks from the UK and international markets
Pricing System £11.95 per trade. Reduced to £8.95 if trading more than nine times in a month. 0.45% annual fee on ISAs.
Fee to Buy Amazon Shares £11.95 commission plus 1% FX fee
Min. Deposit £1
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
Top Features Great reputation, supports thousands of shares, funds, and bonds

Pros

  • Simple investment platform for buying shares
  • Wide selection of UK bonds
  • £1 minimum deposit

Cons

  • One of the most expensive stock brokers in the UK
  • 0.45% annual ISA charge

6. Capital.com – Trade Nearly 3,000 Global Shares at 0% Commission

Capital.com is a CFD-only broker that supports nearly 3,000 global shares. This includes markets in the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, Singapore, and many others. When trading stocks at Capital.com, there are no commissions to pay. This is the case across all supported markets, which include forex, commodities, and indices.

Capital.com review

Capital.com has its own native trading platform and mobile app, and the minimum first-time deposit is just £20. However, if opting for a bank transfer as opposed to a debit card or e-wallet, the minimum is increased to £250. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees at Capital.com and the platform also supports spread betting.

Number of Stocks Nearly 3,000
Pricing System No deposit or withdrawal fees
Fee to Buy Amazon Shares 0% commission
Min. Deposit £20 (debit cards and e-wallets) or £250 (bank transfers)
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
Top Features Huge selection of UK and global markets, 0% commission on all supported assets

Pros

  • Trade nearly 3,000 stock CFDs
  • No commissions charged
  • Tight spreads on most markets

Cons

  • £250 minimum deposit when opting for a bank transfer
  • Does not offer real stocks

7. CMC Markets – Online Trading Platform for Spread Betting and CFDs

The final option to consider on this list of the best UK stock brokers is CMC Markets. This platform specializes in low-cost derivatives across both spread betting markets and CFDs. In total, CMC offers support for more than 10,0000 tradable shares, in addition to forex, commodities, ETFs, treasuries, and indices.

CMC Markets review

When trading shares in the UK, Germany, France, and most other markets, there is a 0.1% commission charged per slide. When trading US-listed stocks, there is a $0.02 fee to pay on each share traded. This comes with a minimum commission of $10. It takes just minutes to join CMC Markets and instant deposits are supported via debit cards.

Number of Stocks 10,000+
Pricing System UK shares traded at 0.10% commission (minimum £9). International share commissions vary based on location. No deposit or withdrawal fees.
Fee to Trade Amazon Shares $0.02 commission for each share traded (minimum $10)
Min. Deposit None, but £100 is recommended
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app, alongside MT4
Top Features Trade more than 10,000 global shares, supports MT4

Pros

  • Sizable selection of UK and international shares
  • Supports CFDs and spread betting
  • Trade via MT4

Cons

  • Minimum commissions apply
  • CFDs only

How We Ranked the Top UK Stock Trading Platforms

Share investments in the UK are now open to budgets of all sizes, including both domestic and international markets. The key issue is knowing which stock broker to choose, considering the many factors that need to be considered.

In the sections below, we explain the main criteria that we look for when ranking the best online stock brokers for 2024.

Range of Stocks

First, we explore the range of shares offered when ranking top stock brokers in the UK.

Some brokers offer access to more than 2,500 stocks from the UK, US, Europe, Asia, and more.

On the other hand, some brokers only support shares listed on the London Stock Exchange – which is one of the worst-performing markets globally over the prior 20 years.

Fees

Fees are, of course, also important when selecting a UK stock broker.

Commissions, otherwise referred to as share dealing fees, are sometimes charged when buying and selling stocks. IG, for example, charges up to £8 per order, while at Hargreaves Lansdown, this is even higher at £11.95.

Some brokers do not charge any commissions at all. This is the case for both UK and international stocks.

Tools & Analysis

Many of the stock brokers we discussed today offer in-house market insights, financial news, and even charting tools.

This is something to consider, as having access to solid information backed by experts is crucial when selecting stocks to buy.

Minimum Deposit

Some online brokers have a minimum deposit in place, which can vary wildly depending on the platform. For example, while Capital.com accepts deposits from just £20 when using a debit card, bank transfers require at least £250. Some brokers require a minimum deposit of just $10 or about £8 only.

Mobile App

XTB offers a proprietary mobile app that connects to the primary account. This ensures that traders can buy and sell stocks while on the move.

Investors can type the name of the stock they wish to buy followed by the investment amount, and the order will be processed instantly.

Demo Account

Completely new to the world of online stock trading? If so, it’s well worth choosing a broker that offers a free demo account. In doing so, this enables traders to buy and sell stocks with ‘paper money’.

In other words, demo accounts are great for learning the ropes of stock investing in a risk-free manner.

Payment Methods

The process of depositing and withdrawing money should also be simple when using an online stock broker.

The best stock investment platforms in the UK support bank transfers, debit cards, and even PayPal. Be sure to assess the minimum deposit for the preferred payment type and whether any fees apply.

Customer Service 

Most online brokers in the UK offer customer support via a live chat box. This usually connects the account holder with a support representative near-instantly.

Rarely do brokers offer a telephone service but this is still an option with established platforms like IG and Hargreaves Lansdown.

How do Stock Brokers Work?

Stock brokers make the process of buying and selling shares simple, as everything can be completed online. In its most basic form, this is because brokers sit between investors (like you) and stock exchanges.

As such, stock brokers are merely intermediaries.

  • Nonetheless, the process of opening an account with a stock broker is just a case of providing some personal information.
  • After the account is open, a deposit will need to be made.
  • The best stock brokers in the UK accept instant payment methods, such as a debit card or Paypal.
  • After the account has been funded, investors can choose which shares they want to buy.
  • This part of the process is also seamless, as investors simply need to specify how much money they want to invest.

Once the investment is confirmed, the stock broker will proceed to purchase the respective shares from the open marketplace at the best price possible. Some, but not all, stock brokers will charge a commission for completing the trade.

Conclusion

UK investors have access to a plethora of online stock brokers and we have reviewed 8 of the most popular. XTB remains the most popular UK stock broker for low fees, considering that both domestic and international shares can be purchased at 0% commission.

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