Options contracts enable UK traders to speculate on a range of different markets, without needing to outlay the full position size up front.

In this comparison guide, we review the best options trading platforms in the UK. Read on to choose a top-rated UK options trading platform in 2024.

The Best UK Options Trading Platforms for Beginners 2024

Here’s a list of the best options trading platforms in the UK for 2024:

  1. AvaTrade – Overall Best Options Trading Platform in the U
  2. IG – Options Markets With Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Expiries
  3. City Index – Trade Options Online via Tax-Free Spread Betting Markets
  4. Saxo Bank – FX Vanilla Options of up to 12 Months

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

Best Options Trading Platforms UK Reviewed

In the sections below, we review the best options trading platforms in the UK, covering everything that traders need to know before opening an account.

1. AvaTrade – Overall Best Options Trading Platform in the UK  

Options traders in the UK will likely find that AvaTrade is the overall best trading platform for their needs. In fact, UK traders will have access to a proprietary options suite at this broker. AvaOptions is a high-level options trading platform that is unique to AvaTrade and can be downloaded to desktop devices.

The AvaOptions platform can also be downloaded to iOS and Android smartphones via a native app. Either way, AvaOptions come jam-packed with advanced trading tools that will enable UK traders to make informed investment decisions. For example, traders can fully customize their charting screen to secure a clear overview of the market they wish to trade.

This is in addition to technical and economic indicators, not to mention chart drawing tools. AvaOptions also enables traders to deploy entry and exit limits directly from their customized charting screen for ultimate flexibility. Traders will also be able to evaluate how potential orders may impact their profit and loss outputs, in real-time.

AvaOptions review

Confidence intervals are another top-rated rated feature offered on the AvaOptions suite. This enables traders to make smart estimations of where the options contract price may be headed in the coming hours or days. When it comes to supported markets, AvaTrade offers access to options across 40 forex pairs.

This includes all majors and minors and a decent selection of exotic currencies. Traders can look to profit from both rising and falling options prices, as AvaTrade supports calls and puts. AvaTrade is also the best options trading platform for deploying premium strategies. Not only does the platform support risk reversals and straddles, but strangles and spreads too.

Crucially, this ensures that UK traders can buy and sell options in a way that mirrors their tolerance for risk. Another major benefit of selecting AvaTrade to trade options is that it supports a wide range of contract expiries. This ranges from one day up to a year. We also found that AvaTrade enables clients to set their own strike price.

AvaOptions review

As the strike price is adjusted, this will increase or decrease the risk and potential gains on the respective options trade, as per the trader’s individual strategy. Alongside risk-management tools and stop-loss orders, AvaTrade also offers portfolio simulations in a risk-free setting.

This means that traders can evaluate how a particular options position will play out based on the set variables surrounding volatility, volume, pricing, and more. There is also a risk-free demo account that enables traders to practice on the AvaOptions suite without risking any money.

AvaTrade is also one of the best options trading platforms in the UK for low fees. Irrespective of the FX market or whether a call or put contract is deployed, options trading at AvaTrade is commission-free. This means that traders will only need to cover the spread and any respective overnight leverage fees.

AvaTrade options margin requirements

While we are on the subject of leverage, AvaTrade requires a minimum margin of just 1% when trading options. This means that on a £10,000 options contract, the trader is only required to pay a premium of £100. If the options position does not end up in the money, then the trader will lose their premium – as is the nature of this financial instrument.

AvaTrade also supports conventional CFD instruments on other asset classes. This includes stocks, commodities, ETFs, bonds, currencies, indices, and more. Once again, these assets can be traded at 0% commission. Finally, the minimum deposit at AvaTrade is £100 and the platform accepts UK bank account transfers and debit/credit cards.

Supported Options Markets 40+ FX options
Pricing System Trade options on a spread-only basis. No deposit or withdrawal fees.
Min. Deposit £100
Trading Platforms Proprietary desktop platform and mobile app for options – AvaOptions
Top Features Specialist trading suite for options, unparalleled analysis features, no commissions charged when trading options, multiple options strategies supported, high-value risk-management tools

Pros

  • Overall best options trading platform in the UK
  • AvaOptions trading suite for desktop and mobile
  • 40+ FX options supported
  • Deploy calls and puts on a 0% commission basis
  • Highly advanced options analysis tools
  • Also one of the best ETF brokers in the UK

Cons

  • Does not support stock or commodity options

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

2. IG – Options Markets With Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly Expiries

IG is the next online broker to consider when searching for the best platform for options trading. IG perhaps offers the largest suite of investment and trading products in this industry, with many thousands of markets and assets supported. This is inclusive of a fully-fledged options department, albeit, contacts are represented by CFDs.

Nonetheless, traders in the UK still have access to plenty of tools and features at IG, and options markets are offered on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. This means that most options strategies are catered for, inclusive of scalping and day trading. When trading daily options at IG, the best-priced spreads are available.

Moreover, there is less risk associated with daily options, considering that the most a trader can lose is the respective margin premium. On the other hand, when opting for longer expiry dates, IG waivers the overnight funding fee that is traditionally associated with CFD positions.

IG options trading

Another reason why IG is worth considering when exploring options trading in the UK is that upon the expiry of the CFD contract, there are no spreads to pay. This means that the spread is only payable when opening a position. In terms of supported options markets, IG covers everything from shares and currencies to commodities and indices.

Although there are no commissions to pay when trading options at IG, the main exception is shares. The specific commission will invariably depend on the share market that is being traded. For example, UK, Singapore, and European-listed shares attract a commission of 0.10% per slide, at a minimum of £10.

When trading options on US-listed shares, IG charged $0.02 for each stock that is traded, at a minimum of $15. All of the options markets supported by IG can be traded with leverage, in line with retail client limits in the UK. In addition to options and CFD products, IG is also one of the best stock brokers in the UK, with more than 13,000 shares and funds available.

Supported Options Markets CFD-backed options across individual stocks, indices, commodities, and currencies
Pricing System Options can be traded on a spread-only basis, other than stocks. Commissions on stocks vary depending on the exchange. 1% and 0.5% fee charged on Visa and MasterCard deposits, respectively.
Min. Deposit No minimum on bank transfers. £250 when opting for a debit card.
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
Top Features No spreads are charged when closing an options position, supports options markets from daily up to quarterly, non-stock options are commission-free

Pros

  • Trade options on stocks, indices, commodities, and forex via CFDs
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly options markets
  • No spreads are charged once the options trade expires

Cons

  • Commissions charged when trading stock options
  • 1% and 0.5% charge on Visa and MasterCard deposits, respectively

3. City Index – Trade Options Online via Tax-Free Spread Betting Markets

City Index is one of the best UK options brokers for active traders that seek low fees and tax-efficient products. Put simply, City Index supports options markets via its spread betting platform. And in the UK, profits made from spread betting are tax-free, so there are no capital gains to take into account.

This is in stark contrast to conventional options contracts and even CFDs, both of which attract capital gains tax. At City Index, it is possible to spread bet options across a wide range of markets. This is inclusive of commodities, forex, and indices. Moreover, there is a wide range of strike prices to choose from and most markets support daily, monthly, and quarterly expiry dates.

City index options

When it comes to fees, City Index does not charge commissions when spread betting options. Moreover, there are no overnight financing fees for positions that remain open for more than a day.

Supported Options Markets Indices, commodities, and currencies via spread betting or CFD options
Pricing System No commissions or overnight financing fees – spread-only.
Min. Deposit No minimum, but £100 is recommended by the broker
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app, plus MT4 and TradingView
Top Features Commission-free options trading with no overnight financing, trade options via CFDs or spread betting

Pros

  • Trade options tax-free via spread betting
  • No minimum deposit

Cons

  • Does not support stock options trading
  • Not suitable for inexperienced traders

4. Saxo Bank – FX Vanilla Options of up to 12 Months 

The final provider to consider on this list of the best options trading platforms in the UK is Saxo Bank. At Saxo Bank, traders have access to over 40 FX vanilla options markets. Each and every supported options market can be traded without paying any commission. With that said, the minimum spread on offer will depend on the chosen account type.

The classic account, which comes with the lowest minimum deposit requirement of £500, offers a spread of 5 pips on EUR/USD options contracts. This is reduced to 4 pips on the platinum account but this requires a minimum deposit of £200,000 to open. Nonetheless, traders will appreciate that FX options at Saxo Bank range from one day to 12 months.

Saxo Bank review

This will suit all options trading strategies, as both calls and puts are available through multiple strike prices. Options can be traded on the proprietary SaxoTraderGo platform, which is available through desktop software and a mobile app.

Supported Options Markets 40+ FX vanilla options
Pricing System Trade options on a spread-only basis. Classic account comes with a minimum spread of 5 pips on EUR/USD options.
Min. Deposit £500 on the classic account
Trading Platforms Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app (SaxoTraderGo), plus TradingView
Top Features Options expiry contracts from one day to 12 months, no commissions charged when trading options

Pros

  • Trade options on a spread-only basis
  • More than 40 FX options markets supported

Cons

  • No options markets on non-FX assets
  • High minimum deposit of £500
  • Proprietary trading platform is not beginner-friendly

How We Ranked the Top UK Options Trading Platforms

In the sections above, we ranked and reviewed the five best options trading platforms in the UK for 2024. Still not sure how to select a suitable platform? If so, read on to explore the key metrics that we focused on during the research process.

Regulation and Safety

Options trading in the UK is heavily regulated, especially when it comes to retail clients. As such, all of the options trading platforms discussed on this page are authorized and regulated by appropriate financial bodies.

Another important consideration to make when selecting the best options trading platform in the UK is whether or not negative balance protection is supported.

This ensures that leveraged options trades do not result in the trader owing money to the broker.

Options Trading Markets 

It is also important to evaluate what options trading markets are supported before proceeding to open an account. There are a variety of factors to assess in this regard, such as:

Real Options or CFDs

First and foremost, traders should assess whether the platform offers real options or if instruments are backed by CFDs.

When buying real options, the trader has the right but not the obligation to purchase the underlying asset on or before the respective expiry date.

In comparison, CFD options are merely tasked with tracking real-world asset prices. Therefore, profits or losses are determined by the difference between the opening and closing price.

Asset Classes

After assessing the type of options contracts that are being offered, the next step is to evaluate which asset classes are supported.

For example, AvaTrade is the best options trading platform in the UK for currencies, with a wide selection of majors, minors, and exotics available.

IG, on the other hand, offers a range of other options markets, including stocks, indices, and commodities.

As we cover in more detail shortly, traders will also need to consider what strike prices and expiry dates are supported by their chosen options trading platform.

Fees 

Like all tradable products, there will be fees to pay when buying and selling options.

The way that options trading platforms price their respective instruments can and will vary from one provider to the next. For example, at AvaTrade, all supported options can be traded on a spread-only basis.

This means that instead of paying a traditional commission, all fees are built into the bid/ask price.

Another fee to consider is whether or not the chosen options trading platform charges overnight financing. If it does, then this can make longer-term options strategies unviable.

Tools and Analysis 

Options trading is a complex battlefield that in reality, should only be considered by those that understand how to perform high-level technical and/or fundamental analysis.

With this in mind, the best options trading platforms in the UK offer all of the tools required to make informed investment decisions.

  • For instance, we mentioned earlier that the proprietary AvaOptions platform supports customizable charting screens, drawing tools, risk-management orders, and simulated trading.
  • This subsequently means that many different options trading strategies can be deployed, such as risk reversals and straddles.

Ultimately, if the chosen platform does not offer sufficient charting and analysis tools, then this means that traders will not be able to speculate on options prices in an effective way.

Minimum Deposit 

As a beginner, it is wise to select an options trading platform that has a low minimum deposit requirement.

At AvaTrade, the minimum deposit is a reasonable £100. Just remember that some options trading platforms have different minimum requirements based on the chosen payment method.

For example, IG requires a minimum deposit of £250 when funding an account with a debit card. On the other hand, there is no minimum deposit at IG if opting for a UK bank transfer.

Demo Account 

It goes without saying that the best way to learn how to trade options is to sign up with a top-rated platform that offers a demo account.

AvaTrade demo account

The best demo account for options trading is offered by AvaTrade and this comes with pre-loaded paper money. The demo account mirrors live market conditions, meaning real-time options pricing and volatility.

After trying a new strategy in demo mode, traders might then consider buying and selling options with real money.

Mobile App 

Options prices can change at a rapid pace, especially on daily and weekly expiry contracts. As a result, the best options trading platforms in the UK also offer a mobile app.

The AvaOptions suite, for example, can be accessed via desktop software and an iOS/Android app – both of which connect to the main account.

The AvaOptions app still supports high-level options trading but via an easy-to-navigate platform that has been optimized for small screens.

Payment Methods 

When electing to trade options in the UK with real money, the first step is to make a deposit.

All of the UK options trading platforms discussed today support UK bank transfers and debit cards.

Customer Service 

First-time options traders in the UK might seek the assistance of a customer service representative. If this is the case, then there should be an expectation of premium customer care.

Many options trading platforms offer live chat support, albeit, some also offer a telephone helpline.

How do Options Trading Platforms Work?

When trading options online, the process must go through a regulated broker like AvaTrade. The chosen broker will offer a range of markets and it is the responsibility of the client to make their own options trading decisions.

  • As we briefly noted earlier, some investment platforms in the UK offer traditional options while others specialize in CFDs.
  • Either way, the trader will be required to speculate on whether the price of an options contract will rise or fall before a specific date.
  • AvaTrade offers plenty of flexibility in this regard, as options contracts are available with an expiry of just one day, through to 12 months. During the contract period, the price of the options contract will rise and fall.
  • Traders can subsequently cash out their options trade before the expiry date in most instances.

When trading conventional options as opposed to CFDs, the trader can exercise the right to purchase the asset at the strike price that was secured when entering the position.

If trading options via CFDs, however, the trade is closed on the expiry date and profits or losses are determined by the difference between the entry and closing prices.

Binary Options Trading Platforms

Binary options are a completely different product to conventional options and even CFDs and spread betting variations for that matter.

The reason for this is that binary options operate on a win-lose outcome, much like gambling. That is to say, the binary wager will either result in a win that is multiplied by the bet size, or a complete loss of the stake.

Looking for the best binary options brokers in the UK?

Unfortunately, in the UK, binary trading is no longer permitted by the FCA. While there are still binary trading platforms located offshore that accept UK clients, these are unregulated entities. As such, binary trading should be avoided in its entirety.

How to Trade Options in the UK

In this section, we explain the basics of how to trade options in the UK with a regulated platform. For this tutorial, we explain the required steps with AvaTrade.

Step 1: Open an AvaTrade Account

As is the case with all regulated options trading platforms in the UK, the first step is to register for an account.

To get the ball rolling, visit the AvaTrade website and click on ‘Register Now’. Next, enter an email address and choose a suitable password.

open AvaTrade account

In the next stage of the registration process, AvaTrade will need to collect some personal information. This is once again the industry standard and requires the user’s first and last name, telephone number, home address, and date of birth.

Step 2: KYC Verification

Before AvaTrade will permit any withdrawals from the trading account, a KYC (Know Your Customer) process will need to be completed.

There is no immediate rush to get this done but we would suggest doing it straightaway nonetheless. In doing so, withdrawal restrictions will be removed.

AvaTrade requires two documents to complete the verification process. For proof of address, this can be a utility bill or bank statement issued within the prior six months.

For proof of identity, a passport or driver’s license will suffice.

Step 3: Deposit £100 or More

The next step is to meet the minimum deposit requirement of £100 or more.

AvaTrade accepts debit/credit cards, bank transfers, and a selection of e-wallets.

Other than bank transfers, all other payment types are processed instantly. No deposit fees are charged by AvaTrade.

Step 4: Choose Options Market

At this stage, there should now be money in the AvaTrade account.

If so, the next step is to load up AvaOptions on the preferred device type and search for an options market. As noted earlier, AvaOptions supports over 40 FX options.

AvaOptions review

After selecting an FX pair, the next step is to choose a suitable expiry date. AvaOptions supports contracts from just one day all the way up to 12 months.

Furthermore, AvaOptions also enables traders to choose their own strike price.

Step 5: Place Options Trade

Once a suitable FX pair, contract expiry, and strike price has been specified, the next step is to choose from a call or put option.

  • Call options are deployed when going long on the asset. This means that the trader is speculating that the FX pair will rise in value.
  • Put options are deployed when going short on the asset. This means that the trader is speculating that the FX pair will decline in value.

Next, the trader will need to determine how much to stake. This can be specified by letting AvaOptions know how many calls or puts to purchase. AvaOptions also enables traders to enter an options position with leverage – in line with UK limits.

AvaOptions review

Finally, confirm the options order and this will be executed by AvaTrade.

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

Conclusion

Options trading is a complex form of investing and requires a full understanding of the risks involved. With that said, options come with the added benefit of being able to enter a trade with just a small fraction of the overall position size.

To get started with the best options trading platform in the UK – AvaTrade, it takes just minutes to open an account. There are no commissions to pay when trading FX options at AvaTrade and spreads are super-tight.

Best all, AvaTrade offers its own proprietary options trading platform for desktop and mobile devices.

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

FAQs

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