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Best Share Dealing Accounts in the UK

Tobi Opeyemi Amure
Reviewed by:
Best share dealing accounts UK

In a nutshell, the best share dealing accounts in the UK are eToro, known for its social trading platform and a wide range of investment options; interactive investor, offering a comprehensive trading platform with a flat-fee pricing structure; and Hargreaves Lansdown, recognised for its extensive research tools and premium service for investors.

Looking for your perfect share dealing account?

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

Whether you’re seeking security, user-friendliness, or low fees, I’ve got you covered.

Top pick
eToro - Overall best share dealing account

30 million users globally trust eToro for their social investing needs, benefiting from a vast array of shares, ETFs, and investment portfolios.

Your capital is at risk.

Top 6 Accounts for Share Dealing Ranked

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

Your capital is at risk.

  1. eToro – Best for beginners
  2. interactive investor – Best for a large selection of investment options
  3. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best for access to personal financial advisors
  4. Freetrade – Cheapest account
  5. AJ Bell – Best for ease of use
  6. InvestEngine – Best for ETFs

Best Options Compared for UK Investors

Here I’ve compared the accounts based on six key factors you must consider and compare.

RankAccountsNo. of stocksNo. of stock marketsReal stock feesNon-trading feesMinimum depositTrading platforms
1eToro3,000+17£0$5 withdrawal fee, inactivity fee, currency conversion fee$10Proprietary web trading platform and mobile app
2interactive investor40,000+17£3.99£4.99 a month£0Proprietary web and mobile platform
3Hargreaves Lansdown8,000+21Based on previous month: 0-9 trades: £11.95 per trade; 10-19 trades: £8.95 per trade; 20+ trades: £5.95 per trade£0£0Proprietary web and mobile platform
4Freetrade6,100+11£0Currency conversion fee is the FX spot rate +/- 0.45%£0Proprietary mobile trading platform
5AJ Bell13,000+19£9.95 commission per trade. £4.95 per if you have more than 10 trades in the previous monthCustody fee of 0.25% per annum£0Proprietary Youinvest web and mobile platform
6InvestEngine600+ ETFsn/a£0£0£100Proprietary web and mobile platform

Reviews

Research shows in 2024 around 2 in 5 Brits (42%) invest and trade, up from 36% in 20211.

Choosing the best share dealing 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 share dealing accounts on the market.

Using my experience in this field, I’ve compiled a list of the best share dealing accounts in the UK based on six key criteria:

  1. Number of stocks
  2. Number of stock markets
  3. Real stock fees
  4. Non-trading fees
  5. Minimum deposit
  6. Trading platforms

Factors such as usability, research tools, educational materials, and additional features were also considered.

All the share dealing accounts I’ve reviewed below are regulated by the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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. eToro – Best for beginners

eToro - Overall best share dealing account UK for beginners

The overall winner on my list of the best share dealing accounts and what I recommend to beginners is eToro.

eToro stands out by offering commission-free trading on stocks, making it an appealing option for cost-conscious traders.

Its social trading community provides a valuable platform for beginners to interact and learn from experienced traders.

With a user-friendly interface optimised for web and mobile devices, eToro simplifies the trading process, granting seamless access to the stock exchange. The platform offers a diverse range of assets, including stocks, forex, CFDs, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies.

With over 40 pre-constructed Smart Portfolios, eToro streamlines the trading experience, enabling beginners to embark on their investment journey effortlessly.

The platform features a ‘Demo Account’ and ‘General Investment Account,’ both completely free to use, allowing users to explore and familiarise themselves without any fees.

While eToro provides numerous benefits, it’s important to consider factors like the absence of tax wrappers such as ISAs or SIPPs and potential high fees for forex trading.

Users should also be mindful of conversion, inactivity, and withdrawal fees.

Overall, eToro remains an excellent choice for those seeking a cost-effective and user-friendly share dealing account with a thriving social trading community.

Finally, it’s worth noting that as of 2023, eToro announced that they reached 30 million registered users worldwide.

On top of this, they have an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot (which is quite rare for a trading app), with over 18,000 reviews.

eToro Trustpilot review.
  • Fees: Commission-free trading, $5 withdrawal fee, $10 inactivity fee, currency conversion fees
  • Minimum balance: £10
  • Instruments: Stocks, Index CFDs, ETF CFDs, Investment Trusts, Forex, Crypto and Commodities.

Pros:

  • Commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
  • Smooth and straightforward account setup process.
  • Access to social trading features.

Cons:

  • $5 charge for withdrawals.
  • Limited to a single account currency option.
  • Room for improvement in customer support services.

Read my 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.

2. interactive investor – Best for a large selection of investment options

interactive investor – Best share dealing account for a large selection of investment options

Interactive investor sets itself apart by offering an unparalleled assortment of global investment opportunities.

With a wide range of shares, funds, ETFs, and investment trusts from well-established exchanges worldwide, investors have the freedom to explore various options and strategies.

The platform caters to the needs of share traders, providing diverse stock trading platforms to accommodate individual preferences and trading styles.

Its pricing structure is cost-effective and particularly advantageous for traders with large portfolios.

Investor Connection addresses concerns about Capital Gains Tax with the availability of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) accounts.

This feature is beneficial for self-directed investors who prefer making their own investment decisions.

The trading platform offers a seamless interface accessible across the web, mobile, and tablets, with real-time market updates and user-friendly search features.

While the charting tools are straightforward and lack advanced features, they compensate with their versatility.

It’s important to consider the monthly account fee of £4.99, along with additional fees for phone usage and bonds. However, the frequent trader fee is zero, and there’s a single free trade every month.

The available accounts include SIPP, stocks and shares ISA, junior cash ISA, and a company account.

Investment options encompass venture capital trusts, ETFs, bonds, stocks, shares, commodities, forex trading, CFDs, and spread betting.

Interactive investor provides a comprehensive and flexible share dealing account for investors seeking diverse global investment opportunities.

  • Fees: £5.99 per trade, annual custody fee starting at £4.99, £40 bonds fee
  • Minimum balance: £0
  • Instruments: ‍Stocks, Bonds, Funds, ETFs, and Investment Trusts.

Pros:

  • Offers a wide variety of funds.
  • Multiple account options.
  • One free trade per month.
  • Free regular investing.
  • Low minimum deposit requirement of £1.
  • Provides free live demo account.

Cons:

  • Can be expensive for small investment pots.
  • Lacks a standalone desktop platform.
  • No price alerts feature.

3. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best for access to personal financial advisors

Hargreaves Lansdown - Best UK share dealing account for access to personal financial advisors

Hargreaves Lansdown offers a wide range of investment opportunities, including funds, curated portfolios, and expert recommendations, allowing users to diversify their financial portfolios seamlessly.

What sets this platform apart is its access to dedicated human financial advisors, demonstrating a strong commitment to helping customers achieve their financial goals.

This personalised assistance is particularly valuable for novice investors, as it enables them to establish well-structured plans within a user-friendly environment, supported by exceptional customer service.

The platform features a simple interface, making it an excellent choice for novice traders. Searching and setting alerts for the stock market is straightforward.

However, it’s important to note that Hargreaves Lansdown is a pricier trading platform, which may not be ideal for experienced traders who engage in frequent trading.

There is no platform fee, but the cost per trade is relatively high at £11.95, with the same charge for bonds and investment trusts. Frequent traders incur a fee of £5.95, and there are additional phone fees ranging from £20 to £50. A yearly custody cost of 0.45% is also applied.

Hargreaves Lansdown provides a comprehensive share dealing account in the UK, combining a wide range of investment options with personalised assistance from dedicated financial advisors.

While it may be more costly, the platform offers a user-friendly experience and exceptional customer service for investors looking to diversify their portfolios effectively.

Account Types:

  • SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension)
  • Junior SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension for minors)
  • Junior stocks & shares ISA (Individual Savings Account)
  • Junior investment
  • Stocks & shares ISA
  • Lifetime ISA
  • Fund and share
  • Active savings

Pros:

  • User-friendly trading platforms.
  • High-quality educational resources.
  • Excellent customer service.

Cons:

  • High fees for stocks and ETFs.
  • Account opening offline for clients outside the UK.
  • Offers only GBP as the base currency

4. Freetrade – Cheapest account

Freetrade - Cheapest share dealing account UK.

Freetrade offers a commission-free share dealing account, allowing investors to trade US, UK, and European stocks without incurring any additional fees.

When you open and fund your account with at least £50, you even receive a free share worth between £10-£100, adding value from the start.

The platform also provides a Standard Subscription Plan, which includes access to a full list of stocks and Freetrade ISA investment options. Notably, you can buy fractional shares in US stocks for just £2, making it an appealing choice for investors starting with smaller amounts.

Freetrade goes beyond basic trading by offering a range of features to inspire investment decisions. This includes performance analysis, returns breakdown, and curated stock insights to enhance your investment strategy.

With its user-friendly app interface, Freetrade caters to novice investors, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Commission-free trading allows investors to maximise their returns without worrying about additional costs.

What sets Freetrade apart is its commitment to investment education. The platform provides a wealth of educational resources, including articles, videos, and community forums, empowering users with the knowledge needed to make informed investment decisions. This supportive environment fosters learning and growth.

In terms of performance, Freetrade offers a diverse range of investment options, including stocks and ETFs. The platform’s intuitive search and analysis tools enable effective research and evaluation of investment opportunities.

Real-time market data and comprehensive charts keep investors informed, supporting data-driven decision-making.

Overall, Freetrade is an excellent choice for UK investors seeking a user-friendly and accessible share dealing app.

Its intuitive interface, commission-free trading, educational resources, and regulatory compliance make it a reliable platform for both beginners and experienced traders.

Freetrade’s commitment to user experience and its mission to democratise investing in the UK make it highly recommended.

  • Fees: Commission-free trading on all stocks, shares and ETFs
  • Minimum balance: £0
  • Instruments: ‍Stocks, ETFs, and Investment Trusts.

Pros:

  • Commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
  • Swift and user-friendly account registration process.
  • Excellent mobile trading platform.

Cons:

  • Limited product variety in the portfolio.
  • Scarcity of research tools.
  • Sole reliance on debit cards for deposits

5. AJ Bell – Best for ease of use

AJ Bell - Best share dealing account for ease of use.

AJ Bell has transformed the trading platform landscape with its exceptional dedication to user experience. The platform features a clean and well-organised interface, ensuring effortless navigation for investors.

One of AJ Bell’s standout qualities is its responsive customer service team, always ready to assist users with their inquiries and needs.

For frequent traders who make 10 or more trades per month, AJ Bell offers significant cost savings. The utilisation of AJ Bell’s tax-efficient wrappers further enhances the potential for savings.

With an impressive range of account types, AJ Bell caters to the diverse needs of investors and has received numerous accolades for its offerings.

AJ Bell excels in serving investors who prefer a hands-off approach to portfolio management and are not interested in frequent trading.

The platform provides excellent accessibility on both mobile and web platforms, allowing users to seamlessly switch between the two. User-friendly search functions and secure two-step logins further enhance the platform’s appeal.

While AJ Bell’s pricing structure is favorable for individuals with modest portfolios and limited investment experience, frequent traders may find the share dealing fee discouraging.

The platform charges a 0.25% fee for bonds, yearly custody, EFTs, and platform usage. Each trade incurs a £9.95 fee, with an additional phone fee of £29.95 and a frequent trader cost of £4.95.

However, it’s important to note that AJ Bell lacks price alerts, and the available order types may be considered too simple by some investors.

Despite these considerations, AJ Bell remains an excellent choice for investors seeking a user-focused share dealing account.

Its commitment to user experience, range of account options, and accolades earned make it a reliable platform for investors looking for a hands-off approach to portfolio management.

Account Types:

  • Junior SIPP
  • Junior dealing
  • SIPP
  • Dealing

Investments:

  • EFTs
  • Stocks & shares
  • Funds

Pros:

  • Competitive non-trading fees, keeping costs low.
  • No withdrawal fees for added cost savings.
  • Attractive pricing for mutual fund investments.

Cons:

  • Incurs a custody fee, which may impact overall expenses.
  • Stock trading fees are on par with industry averages.

6. InvestEngine – Best for ETFs

InvestEngine - Best share dealing account for ETFs.

InvestEngine, primarily an ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) trading platform, offers a blend of value and versatility that makes it stand out in the crowded UK market.

Despite its specialised focus on ETFs, it provides an exceptional platform with a host of beneficial tools tailored to the needs of its clients, proving itself to be more of an asset than a limitation.

A key advantage of InvestEngine lies in its extremely competitive pricing structure. There are no hidden costs; for those opting for self-directed investing, the platform doesn’t charge any account fees, just the associated trading expenses.

If you’re opting for their managed portfolios, it charges a remarkably low 0.25% annual fee.

Both beginners and savvy investors can find their stride with InvestEngine; with options for both managed and self-directed portfolios, there’s a fit for everyone.

For beginners or those preferring a hands-off approach, InvestEngine’s managed portfolios come in handy.

The firm’s team of experts handles daily investment decisions, creating a portfolio tailored to your risk tolerance and preferences.

Advanced investors can take advantage of the platform’s range of over 500 ETFs, taking the reins of their investments.

Fractional investing, another feature of InvestEngine, enables you to own portions of an ETF with as little as £1, thereby facilitating the creation of a diversified portfolio even with limited funds.

This makes it an excellent choice for limited companies looking to explore the market while maintaining diversity.

Notably, InvestEngine boasts an impressive customer support system.

As a specialist in ETFs, they have the expertise to assist their customers effectively, making the trading process smoother and more manageable.

ETFs are great for all investors, thanks to their low cost and their approach to diversification – in most cases, it’s better to diversify across a range of businesses instead of putting your cash into one stock or share.

Goncalo, Investment Manager at InvestEngine. From our interview.

While the platform’s limitation to trading only ETFs might seem like a drawback for some, it comes with the advantage of offering one of the broadest ETF ranges in the market, with more than 500 options.

This ensures that clients don’t feel restricted, despite the platform’s specialised nature.

In summary, InvestEngine, with its high-quality platform, exceptional customer service, wide range of ETFs, and low-cost structure, proves to be an excellent choice for both individuals and limited companies in the UK.

The only caveat is the ETF-only trading restriction, which might not appeal to investors looking for a wider variety of asset classes.

InvestEngine offers products such as a Stocks and Shares ISA, Personal Account, and Business Account, making it a comprehensive solution for a variety of investing needs.

Given its advantages and unique features, it stands as one of the most cost-effective platforms in the UK.

Pros:

  • Fee-free investing with 0% fees.
  • Extensive selection of ETFs.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Highly cost-effective managed option with a 0.25% fee.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Low minimum investment requirement (£100).
  • Ability to invest within a business account.

Cons:

  • Limited investment options to only ETFs.
  • No provision for personal pensions.
  • Limited additional features or offerings.

Read my InvestEngine review.

Factors to Consider When Choosing

Choosing the best share dealing account in the UK involves considering several factors.

Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

Fees: Compare the fees associated with each share dealing account, including trading commissions, account maintenance fees, inactivity fees, and any other charges. Look for accounts that offer competitive rates and cost-effective pricing structures.

Range of Investments: Assess the variety of investments available through the account. Consider whether you can trade stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), investment trusts, bonds, and other securities that align with your investment goals.

Platform Features: Evaluate the functionality and user experience of the trading platform. Look for features such as ease of use, real-time market data, customisable watchlists, research tools, charting capabilities, and mobile accessibility.

Customer Service and Support: Consider the level of customer service provided by the account provider. Look for responsive customer support, including phone, email, or live chat options, to address any queries or issues you may encounter.

Account Types: Determine whether the share dealing account offers different types of accounts, such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), or general investment accounts. Assess whether these account types align with your tax planning and investment objectives.

Reputation and Security: Research the reputation and credibility of the account provider. Check customer reviews, ratings, and any regulatory certifications or memberships that ensure the security of your investments and personal information.

Educational Resources: Consider whether the account provides educational resources, such as investment guides, tutorials, webinars, or market analysis, to help you enhance your investment knowledge and make informed decisions.

Additional Services: Evaluate any additional services or benefits offered by the account provider, such as dividend reinvestment plans, access to initial public offerings (IPOs), research reports, or financial planning tools.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a share dealing account that aligns with your investment preferences, goals, and trading style in the UK.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right share dealing account in the UK depends on your investment goals, trading style, and preferred platform features.

My guide highlights and reviews the top accounts, helping you make a choice.

But, for beginners, I’d recommend eToro as the best share dealing account in the UK.

Top pick
eToro - Overall best share dealing account

30 million users globally trust eToro for their social investing needs, benefiting from a vast array of shares, ETFs, and investment portfolios.

Your capital is at risk.

FAQs

What are share dealing fees?

Share dealing fees refer to the charges imposed by a share dealing platform or broker for buying or selling shares. These fees can vary among providers and may include commission fees, account maintenance fees, custody fees, and transaction fees. Commission fees are typically charged as a percentage of the transaction value or as a fixed fee per trade.

How do I open a share dealing account in the UK?

To open a share dealing account in the UK, start by researching and selecting a broker that aligns with your investment goals, such as eToro, interactive investor, or Hargreaves Lansdown. Once you’ve chosen a broker, you’ll typically need to fill out an online application form providing personal information and financial details. After your application is approved, you’ll need to fund your account through methods like bank transfer, credit/debit card, or e-wallets. With your account funded, you can then start buying and selling shares.

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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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