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Best Demo Trading Accounts in the UK

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best demo trading accounts UK

In a nutshell, the best demo trading accounts in the UK are offered by Plus500, eToro, and Trade Nation. Plus500 provides a straightforward and intuitive platform, making it easy for beginners to navigate. eToro stands out for its social trading features, allowing users to mimic the trades of successful investors. Trade Nation is appreciated for its comprehensive educational resources and user-friendly interface, catering to both new and experienced traders seeking to refine their trading strategies in a risk-free environment.

Looking for your perfect demo trading account?

I’ve tested, scored, and ranked the best accounts in the UK.

Whether you’re seeking security, user-friendliness, or extensive trading options, I’ve got you covered.

Top pick
Best for beginners
Best for fixed spreads
4.7
4.6
4.5

One of the fastest-growing trading platforms in the UK for CFD trading. Comprehensive for all levels of experience.

30 million users globally trust eToro for their copy and social trading needs, benefiting from a vast array of stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Access some of the lowest-cost fixed-spreads around, on the markets you most want to trade.

  • £40,000 in virtual funds
  • Learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • Trading tools & charts
  • $100,000 in virtual funds
  • User-friendly platform for beginners
  • Copy the moves of professional traders
  • Social trading & educational features
  • £10,000 in virtual funds
  • Spreads from 0.0 with commission
  • Choice of trading platforms
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Top pick
4.7

One of the fastest-growing trading platforms in the UK for CFD trading. Comprehensive for all levels of experience.

  • £40,000 in virtual funds
  • Learning academy
  • Fast and responsive customer service
  • Trading tools & charts
82% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
Best for beginners
4.6

30 million users globally trust eToro for their copy and social trading needs, benefiting from a vast array of stocks, ETFs, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

  • $100,000 in virtual funds
  • User-friendly platform for beginners
  • Copy the moves of professional traders
  • Social trading & educational features
76% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Best for fixed spreads
4.5

Access some of the lowest-cost fixed-spreads around, on the markets you most want to trade.

  • £10,000 in virtual funds
  • Spreads from 0.0 with commission
  • Choice of trading platforms
75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

6 Best Platforms/Accounts for Demo Trading Ranked

Here is a quick list of the best demo trading accounts to use in the UK based on my hands-on analysis:

Your capital is at risk.

  1. Plus500 – Overall best
  2. eToro – Best for beginners
  3. Trade Nation – Best for fixed spreads
  4. CMC Markets – Best for spread betting
  5. XTB – Best for derivatives trading
  6. Pepperstone – Best for advanced trading tools

Top Accounts Compared for UK Traders

Here I’ve compared the demo trading accounts based on four key rating criteria you must consider and compare.

RankDemo acountsVirtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
1Plus500£40,000UnlimitedYes5,500
2eToro$100,000UnlimitedYes3,479
3Trade Nation£10,000UnlimitedYes601
4CMC Markets£10,000UnlimitedYes12,074
5XTB$100,00030 daysYes6,010
6Pepperstone$50,00030 daysYes2,342

Reviews

Research shows in 2023 that around 2 in 5 Brits (42%) invest and trade, up from 36% in 20211.

Choosing the best demo trading account is crucial for newcomers in the market.

Having worked in the retail investment sector in London over the last four years, I had the opportunity to experience the rise first-hand.

Additionally, in my role working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”, I was able to work with and test some of the biggest UK trading demo accounts on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best demo trading accounts in the UK based on factors on four key criteria:

  1. Virtual funds available
  2. Length of demo account
  3. Leverage available
  4. Number of tradeable instruments

Factors such as usability, trading platforms available, research tools, education materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the platforms I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or similar.

You can read about how we test platforms here.

This article was reviewed by Tobi Opeyemi Amure, a trading expert and writer at InvestopediaInvesting.com, and Trading.biz.

1. Plus500 – Overall best

Plus500 - Best demo trading account for tight spreads.

In the dynamic landscape of online trading, Plus500 distinguishes itself as a top-tier option for demo trading accounts in the UK, combining simplicity and depth to cater to traders at all levels.

A public company, Plus500 holds prominent positions on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 250, underscoring its reliability and industry stature.

Despite being newer to the scene, this platform impresses with an extensive offering of tradeable instruments through CFDs, (5,500 financial instruments including a diverse selection of 70 currency pairs).

The Plus500 demo account stands out for its accessibility, requiring nothing more than an email address and password for setup — no hidden charges involved.

This no-cost, no-risk gateway into trading is further enhanced by its limitless duration, setting it apart from competitors that impose time constraints.

Upon signup, you are welcomed with £40,000 in virtual funds, fostering a practical, hands-on learning environment. Transitioning to a live account is seamless, requiring a minimum deposit of $100 and basic verification steps.

The demo account not only allows a risk-free exploration into trading but also mirrors the live account experience meticulously. It grants access to Plus500’s proprietary platform, a broad spectrum of CFD markets, and competitive spreads, enhancing the realism of the practice sessions.

Furthermore, Plus500’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident in its supportive customer service team, prepared to assist with all demo account inquiries.

One of the invaluable aspects of the Plus500 demo account is its function as a true educational tool. It replicates live trading conditions, minus the psychological pressures of real investment, giving you a comfortable space to grasp the nuances of market dynamics.

Switching between the simulated and live environments is a straightforward task on Plus500, encouraging you to move confidently into real-money trading when ready.

All these factors contribute to the Plus500 demo account’s reputation as a preferred choice for both novice traders and experienced individuals refining their strategies in the UK market.

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
£40,000UnlimitedYes5,500 (CFDs)

Read my complete Plus500 review.

82% 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.

2. eToro – Best for beginners

eToro - Overall best demo trading account UK for beginners.

eToro is one of the best options for demo trading accounts in the UK, offering a seamless start with an easy sign-up process that requires just an email or a social media account.

Since 2007, eToro has offered a simple, wide-range trading platform, great for beginners.

What makes eToro special is its mix of many offers in an easy setup. For example, you can try trading with over 2,000 global stocks and shares. You can also invest in different areas with a range of ETFs.

eToro is also strong in crypto trading, with options from Bitcoin to Ethereum. For forex fans, eToro covers many currency pairs, major, minor, and rare ones.

There’s no lack of commodity trading, with choices like gold, oil, and gas. You may also find eToro’s world indices useful for diversifying your portfolio.

eToro also offers Smart Portfolios for easy, pro-level investing in a passive way. With eToro Academy, you can learn from many trading courses and articles.

The platform keeps you updated with fresh market news and views. Its social trading aspect lets people share tips and copy others’ trades, adding to your learning.

Plus, eToro makes starting simple. You can join fast and get a demo account with $100,000 in virtual money and practice real trading safely, with tight spreads and high-leverage options.

To wrap up, eToro stands out with its many features, learning community, and focus on user growth through guides and safe trading tools. For new or active traders, trying eToro’s demo account would be a smart move toward confident trading.

Key rating criteria:

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
$100,000UnlimitedYes3,479

Read my complete eToro review.

{etoroCFDrisk}% 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. Other fees apply. Your capital is at risk. For more information, click here.

3. Trade Nation – Best for fixed spreads

Trade Nation

Trade Nation emerges as a leading choice for UK traders seeking a robust demo trading account experience.

Established in 2014 and regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA in the UK, it offers a secure trading environment with a clean regulatory track record.

The platform excels in providing a fully digital account opening process with no minimum deposit requirement, making it accessible to traders of all levels.

What sets Trade Nation apart is its exceptional range of educational resources and research tools, combined with quality customer support.

These features make it an ideal platform for beginners to learn trading without risk, utilizing the demo account to simulate trading strategies in real-market conditions.

However, it is important to note that while it offers a comprehensive educational suite, advanced traders may find the product portfolio limited.

Trade Nation’s commitment to enhancing trader education and providing a user-friendly trading experience is evident through its trading platform tutorials and educational videos.

Although it does not offer live webinars, the available resources are substantial for developing trading skills.

With competitive fees, especially for stock and index CFDs, and no charges for account inactivity or withdrawal, Trade Nation stands out as a cost-effective platform for both new and seasoned traders.

Trade Nation’s demo account is among the best in the UK, offering a valuable learning environment supported by extensive educational content and effective customer service.

Its regulatory standing and focus on user experience further solidify its position as a top choice for traders looking to practice and refine their trading strategies in a risk-free setting.

Key rating criteria:

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
£10,000UnlimitedYes601

Read my complete Trade Nation review.

75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

4. CMC Markets – Best for spread betting

CMC Markets - Best UK demo trading account for spread betting.

One of the most comprehensive demo trading accounts in the UK is from CMC Markets, a leading force in the trading industry since 1989.

The platform impresses with its unrestricted access to £10,000 in virtual funds, allowing you to immerse yourself in the trading world without financial risk.

One of its greatest advantages is its ‘Next Generation’ platform, a powerhouse of functionality that provides access to over 12,000 trading instruments, including CFDs, spread betting, forex pairs, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs, and even volatile assets like cryptocurrencies.

You will benefit from the platform’s sophisticated features, such as real-time client sentiment analysis, multiple layout options, an advanced pattern recognition scanner, and a unique price projection box that forecasts potential price movements based on historical data.

These tools, combined with up to 30:1 leverage, make the trading simulation incredibly realistic, preparing you for the nuances of real market conditions.

Furthermore, CMC Markets is committed to education, providing an exhaustive educational suite through its ‘Learn’ platform.

This resource offers a variety of formats, from online courses and live webinars to a vast array of articles covering every conceivable trading topic.

The unrestricted demo account period means you can learn at your own pace, delving into complex market strategies without time constraints.

Additionally, CMC Markets prioritises customer support, evidenced by its round-the-clock customer service.

This comprehensive approach, ensuring you are well-equipped and informed, cements CMC Markets’ position as a top-tier choice for both novice and seasoned traders in the UK.

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
£10,000UnlimitedYes12,074

5. XTB – Best for derivatives trading

XTB - Best demo trading account for derivatives trading.

XTB, renowned for over 20 years, offers one of the best demo trading accounts in the UK, blending expertise with innovation.

XTB’s demo account is user-friendly, providing a safe entry into the challenging world of trading. With access to over 6,000 instruments, including forex, indices, commodities, stocks, cryptocurrencies, and ETFs, demo users can practice diverse trading strategies.

XTB’s platform, xStation, is impressive. It’s accessible on various devices, known for robust charting features, and multiple asset tracking. Risk management tools like negative balance protection and margin alerts add layers of security.

The automated trading options, including EAs (Expert Advisors) and trading robots, streamline the trading process, while custom strategies cater to individual needs.

XTB’s educational resources stand out. The Trading Academy suits all skill levels, and their regular live webinars, hosted by seasoned analysts, are invaluable. Comprehensive video tutorials and up-to-date market news and analysis keep you informed.

XTB’s demo account is unique, offering a 30-day trial with $100,000 virtual funds, covering over 2,100 CFD markets with tight spreads and up to 30:1 leverage. It’s perfect for both learning basics and exploring new markets without financial risks.

Headquartered in Poland, the award-winning XTB platform features 48 currency pairs and 1,500 derivatives. With options like MetaTrader 4 and xStation, you will benefit from using top-tier platforms.

Overall, XTB’s comprehensive offerings and educational resources make it perfect for anyone venturing into CFD trading.

Key rating criteria:

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
$100,00030 daysYes6,010

6. Pepperstone – Best for advanced trading tools

Pepperstone - Best demo trading account UK for advanced trading tools.

Pepperstone is a top-choice demo trading account in the UK, notable for its sophisticated yet accessible tools.

Established in 2021, this broker quickly became synonymous with tight spreads, cost-effective trading, and enhanced profit potential, appealing to both novices and seasoned traders.

Specialising in forex and CFDs, Pepperstone offers a spectrum of trading instruments.

Its extensive selection of over 180 currency pairs is commendable, matched with a diverse range of CFDs that allow you to speculate on price movements across commodities, cryptocurrencies, indices, and shares without direct asset ownership.

Educational resources further enhance Pepperstone’s appeal, with its trading academy boasting expert-led courses covering an array of trading subjects, essential for informed trading strategies.

Operating globally, with a significant presence in the UK, Pepperstone adheres to FCA regulations, ensuring a secure trading environment.

Its demo account stands out, offering $50,000 in virtual funds over 30 days, extendable upon request. Its compatibility with renowned platforms, including MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader, offers unique tools for technical analysis and graphic representations.

Pepperstone’s fast trade speed, around 30 milliseconds, cuts slippage and makes trades more exact.

The demo account replicates the nuances of ECN trading environments and offers leverage up to 30:1, accommodating various trading styles.

The accessibility of Pepperstone’s demo account is noteworthy, serving as a risk-free testing ground for trading strategies across popular platforms. Its 30-day duration is a realistic timeframe to acquaint with its features, proving essential for those seeking practical experience before venturing into live trading.

Pepperstone offers top-notch customer help, winning awards for its expert team. This makes it a top pick for traders looking for full trading support.

In conclusion, Pepperstone’s blend of advanced tools, educational support, and user-friendly platforms makes its demo account one of the best stepping stones into the world of forex and CFD trading in the UK.

Virtual funds availableLength of demo accountLeverage availableNo. of tradeable instruments
$50,00030 daysYes2,342

Read my complete Pepperstone review.

How to Choose? Factors to Consider

Along with the key rating criteria I used to rank the accounts, here are some aspects to consider:

  • Broker Reputation: Opt for a reputable broker or financial institution that offers demo trading accounts. Research their background, regulatory compliance, and customer reviews to ensure reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Platform Features: Evaluate the features and functionalities of the demo trading platform. Look for a user-friendly interface, real-time market data, intuitive charting tools, and order execution capabilities that closely resemble the live trading experience.
  • Asset Selection: Check if the demo trading account offers a wide range of financial instruments across different asset classes, such as stocks, currencies, commodities, or indices. This allows you to practice trading in the specific markets you’re interested in.
  • Realistic Market Conditions: Look for a demo trading account that provides a realistic trading environment. It should simulate live market conditions, including accurate price feeds, order execution speed, and relevant market fluctuations.
  • Account Limitations: Consider any limitations or restrictions imposed on the demo trading account, such as limited time duration or virtual fund amounts. Ensure that the account provides sufficient time and resources for you to practice and gain proficiency.
  • Educational Resources: Check if the demo trading account comes with educational resources, tutorials, or guides to help you learn about trading strategies, technical analysis, and risk management. These resources can support your learning and skill development.
  • Customer Support: Ensure that the broker or platform offers reliable customer support to address any queries or technical issues you may encounter while using the demo trading account.
  • Transition to Live Trading: If you intend to eventually transition to live trading, consider a demo trading account offered by a broker where you can easily open a live trading account. This way, you can seamlessly transition from practice to real trading when you feel ready.

Pick a demo trading account that fits your needs and goals. Use this risk-free chance to boost your trading skills and build confidence.

Final Thoughts

After reviewing the top demo trading accounts available in the UK, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

Each account comes with its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your individual trading goals and needs when selecting one.

However, I’d recommend eToro as the overall best demo trading account for beginners.

Before you start trading, it’s essential to understand the risks involved and be aware of the potential pitfalls.

With the right knowledge, you can make informed decisions and start your journey into the financial markets with confidence.

FAQs

Why do I trade better on a demo account?

Trading better on a demo account can be attributed to less pressure. Without the pressure of real money, you may feel more relaxed and less emotionally influenced, allowing for clearer decision-making.

What is the best demo trading app UK?

While there are several good demo trading apps available in the UK, eToro is often considered one of the best. Its user-friendly app, extensive range of trading instruments, and innovative social trading features make it a popular choice among traders. With eToro’s demo trading app, users can practice trading across various markets, learn from successful investors, and hone their trading skills in a risk-free environment.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.finder.com/uk/investment-statistics ↩︎

Will Fenton is the founder of Sterling Savvy. He is a personal finance expert and writes about trading, investing, budgeting, and other financial topics.

Along with his education in Economics & Finance, he has experience working in the financial services industry in London working for one of the UK’s leading financial companies, “a trustworthy and respected provider of news, education and market analysis for the everyday investor”.

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