Compare the Best UK Stockbrokers
Compare stockbrokers for online share dealing, funds and more
Only quality brokers featured
Regulated in the UK or EU
Trading for 5+ years
Looking for a Stocks & Shares ISA? Visit our best Stocks and Shares ISA comparison table instead
Compare the cheapest stockbrokers
Take your pick of the best UK stockbrokers. All stockbrokers offer low-fee share dealing, funds and more to UK customers
We earn commission for referring new customers. We give equal prominence to the best stockbrokers who don't pay to be featured. Commission doesn't impact scoring or the order of providers. Risk warning: all trading carries a risk of loss. Fees were correct at the time of publishing, however these can change. See our disclaimer.
Top stockbroker pick
The broker I personally use to buy stocks & shares. eToro has brought a trading revolution to the UK. eToro has disrupted the stockbroker industry by providing free stocks & shares trading with zero platform fees. With a minimum trade size of $50, eToro has made it possible for small investors to build a portfolio of shares without incurring commissions. For adventurous traders; eToro also offers CFD trading on cryptocurrencies, indexes and shares.
On 16 March 2021, eToro announced a deal which will see it list as a publicly traded company in the first quarter of 2021. The Financial Times reported at the time that eToro has added more than 5m customers during the last year (2020). I'm not surprised at this staggering figure given that I was personally one of them. Only £150 ($200) is needed to open an account, so why not try the platform today and put it to the test?
Trading212 is the home-grown UK investing app which was the first to offer zero commission stock trading service in the UK and Europe, unlocking the stock market for millions of people. Trading 212 is a London based fintech company that democratises the financial markets with free, smart and easy to use apps, enabling anyone to trade equities, Forex, commodities and more. The Trading212 mobile app has been downloaded more than 14m times, making it one of the most popular trading apps in the world.
Trading212 is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in underlying stocks and trading CFD assets. Please note that CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investors 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.
Trading fee (Shares)
£4.95 - £9.95
Trading fee (Funds)
0.25% max £3.50 p/m
Youinvest is the quality stock brokerage from UK investment powerhouse AJ Bell. Their self select stocks & shares ISA offers a simple and transparent fee structure, with lower prices the more you trade! AJ Bell is a Which? Recommended Provider for investment platforms for the last two years, and has over £50 billion in assets under management. AJ Bell also offer a standard share dealing account and a Self Investing Personal Pension (SIPP).
Freetrade is the UK stockbroker app that made buying shares for zero commission feel like the norm. Freetrade is a simple app for buying and selling shares. Create your own portfolio by acquiring fractional or full shares at the tap of a button. With over 500,000 registered users, Freetrade is inspiring many new investors to join the stock market for the first time.
Compare stockbrokers with automated portfolio services
Set and forget. Automate your investing journey with these smart money managers which invest your cash for you.
Fully managed portfolio
Ethical investment option
0.45% - 0.75%
Nutmeg offers access to hands free, socially responsible investment portfolios on its simple online platform. Choose between the ready-made portfolios such as 'Smart Alpha' and 'Fully Managed', and benefit from the instant diversification offered by a managed investment service. Best for investment beginners or those who don't have the time or energy to pick stocks & shares themselves.
Wealthify is a leading robo-adviser in the UK right now. Wealthify offers UK investors five core portfolios, ranging from 'cautious' to 'adventurous'. These portfolios contain different levels of risk and reward to suit a broad range of investors.
Sign-up offer: Join as a new user through our link and receive a £25 welcome bonus. Terms apply.
Fully managed portfolio
Ethical investment option
0.35% - 0.75%
When you sign-up to Moneyfarm, your investor profile is matched to one of seven globally diversified good-to-go portfolios. Each portfolio contains a broad handpicked mix of cost-efficient ETFs, all chosen to meet their high standards of quality and reliability.
You’ll see a recommended portfolio perfectly matched to you along with two more options, so you can decide if you want a little more or less exposure to volatility – and optimise your potential for growth. Now, your portfolio’s ready to perform and you’re ready to invest.
How to compare stockbrokers in the UKFinancial Expert™ tips on choosing the best stockbroker in the UK
Forecast your trading frequency to understand the true cost of trading
The main source of income for traditional stockbrokers is trading.
Stockbrokers charge clients between £2.95 and £12.95 to execute a buy or sell order on your behalf. Fees are charged per trade so investing a pot of money into five companies will incur five fees.
Understanding how many trades you will place per month is crucial in understanding which stockbroker will save you the most money when doing a stockbroker comparison.
For the sake of diversification, you will want to invest in a minimum of 20 companies to avoid being too exposed to any individual business. You will quickly appreciate that trading fees can get quite expensive for active traders who invest in individual company shares.
When comparing stockbrokers, you will notice that some offer discounted rates to people who trade very frequently, e.g. 10+ trades per month.
Share dealing charges are often tiered. Don’t feel tempted to take up this frequency of trading. These discounts are little more than a reward for spending so much money with the broker. I could draw comparisons to the way casinos give discounts or freebies to customers who spend big at their tables.
To qualify for the £8.95 discounted rate offered by Hargreaves Landsdown, you need to spend £89.50 per month – over £1,000 in trading fees per year. If this was saved and invested instead, £1,000 per year could grow to be worth £15,000 after ten years (growing at 5% per year.)
The only effective way to guarantee you reduce the cost of investing is by trading as little as possible across the year. This is one of the reasons why we encourage investors to build their basic investment portfolio using funds. Funds allow investors to own a variety of companies via a single trade, and better still – many stockbrokers process fund transactions for free!
This is why a stockbroker comparison is only meaningful if you can forecast how much you'll be using the different services offered by a broker.
Getting to grips with platform charges, account fees and custodial fees
Beyond trading fees, stockbrokers also charge fees to your account each billing period.
These can be labelled as account fees, platform fees or custodial fees.
It's important to factor these fees into any comparisons, as they can be significant - particularly as a percentage of small portfolios.
These charges were introduced in the last few years. A change in UK regulations meant that stockbrokers could no longer collect commission payments from fund managers in exchange for referring investors to their funds.
Platform charges usually take two forms:
1. Fixed platform fee or a capped charge – These are suited for large portfolios, as a fixed £ cost becomes quite tiny relative to the value of assets in a large portfolio. A an annual fee capped at £100 is very affordable for a £100,000 portfolio, for example.
2. % based platform fee – These are really helpful for small investors. By charging only a percentage of your assets, such as 0.35%, the fees stay small, even for investment pots worth less than £2,000.
Making the final cost comparison
To make a fair stockbroker comparison, calculate the ‘total annual cost’ of each provider by adding up the annual platform fee, plus the expected costs of your trades.
By using the ‘total annual cost’ benchmark, you may discover that the cheapest broker for you is neither the one with the lowest trading fees nor the provider with the lowest platform fee.
It's important to think ahead. Try calculating the platform fee using the best guess of your expected portfolio value in three years time.
It can be quite costly to switch between providers at a later date, therefore you will want to choose an investment platform that fits your long term investment goals.
It can take as little as £30,000 in an account for the fixed fee options to look more attractive. Suddenly the stockbroker comparison has flipped on its head!
Other factors to consider when picking a stockbroker
With so many fees and charges to compare, it is all too easy to forget that other factors matter when you compare stockbrokers.
The stockbroker you choose will be the steward over a significant portion of your wealth over the coming years. In this regard, the following factors are worth considering:
- Their size and stability as an organisation
- Longevity - how long have they been trading?
- Reputation - what is their Trust Pilot score?
- Customer service - are they known for treating their clients fairly?
You will want also want to check that the stockbroker you are picking is a regulated business. Read more: How to spot investment scams.
When things go wrong in a stockbroker account, they can often go very wrong. I have personal experience of this. It’s in moments like these that customer service becomes far more valuable than a 0.1% annual fee saving.
Earlier this year, an administrative error in the back office led to my stockbroker inadvertently selling my entire investment portfolio.
When I rang them to explain what appeared to have happened, they quickly investigated the matter.
I was given a solemn promise: ‘If the market rises whilst you are out of it, we will add funds to your account to put you back in the exact position you should rightly be in’.
This assurance immediately put me at ease and I could relax over the remaining days whilst the trades were corrected. I ultimately ended up gaining as a result of the error, as the market fell whilst I was out of the market.
Gain a tax advantage by choosing the right stockbroker account
This isn’t a trick question. Most large UK stockbrokers offer these two options to their customers.
- A tax-free account called a ‘Stocks and Shares ISA’.
- A taxable account called ‘Investment account’ or ‘Share dealing service’.
Both types offer similar functionality. Technically, non-ISA accounts can hold a slightly wider range of investments, but the average investor would not notice this restriction. To the vast majority of investors, the only practical difference is that no tax will be paid on any gains or income made within an ISA. You don’t even need to declare these items on your tax return.
ISAs restrict how much can be deposited into the account per tax year (6 April – 5 April). Currently, the limit is £20,000 per year. However, if you are transferring in money from a different ISA account then the transfer ignores this limit.
The choice to set up a Stocks and Shares ISA should be a no-brainer for anyone with less than £20,000 to invest.
Anyone with over £20,000 at their disposal should put the maximum £20,000 in the ISA, and the rest in a non-ISA until future tax years when more money can be moved across into the ISA.
Don't assume that all stockbroker interfaces are the same
The best UK stockbrokers offer clean and simple user interfaces which make share dealing simple. Why should buying shares be more difficult than filling an online shopping cart with groceries?
The top stockbrokers in the UK provide quick access to historical data and charts to help you make investment decisions with ease.
However, not all UK stockbrokers reach this standard. Some haven't updated their interfaces in 10+ years. These interfaces involve an unnecessary amount of steps and information to place a trade. It's difficult to make a quick comparison because of the number of steps involved in signing up before you can even examine a platform in great detail.
A share dealing service such as eToro on the other hand lets you buy fractional or full shares in one click. Find a company, type in how much you want to invest, and click buy. eToro does all the rest of the work for you,.
Some brokers like to cater their services towards experienced investors and active day trader who want to see tonnes of detail onscreen at any one time.
They often provide desktop software which is the app actually used to place trades, rather than through the brokers' website. These pieces of trading software are fast and effective in the right hands, but they have a steep learning curve. This makes them not ideal for first-time investors.
Examples of trading software are MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, sometimes shortened to MT4 and MT5.