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Best Share Dealing Accounts in the UK

Looking to buy shares? Make sure to check out first our comprehensive list of the best share dealing accounts in the UK.
Author: Nica

Last Updated: May 14, 2020

Buying shares is among the top methods for growing your money. With the abundance of share dealing services in the UK, getting started is quite a breeze.

The choice you make when choosing a share dealing broker is critical to your success. Each broker offers unique trading strategies and vastly different features, and as such, there is no one-size-fits-all broker.

To help you along, we have compiled a comprehensive collection of the best share dealing accounts in the UK. Each of the platforms highlighted excels in certain features. Depending on your needs and preferences, you will be sure to find one that will suit your needs.

Read on to find out the best accounts for buying shares online in the UK.

Table of Contents

Contents [show]

    How to Buy Shares in 3 Quick Steps

    In order to start buying shares online, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Create an Account

    eToro to buy vodafone shares

    Choose an FCA regulated broker that gives you access to hundreds of UK and international shares.

    Step 2: Deposit Money

    Once you've opened an account, deposit some funds with a debit/credit card, e-wallet, or UK bank account.

    Step 3: Buy Shares

    Search for the company that you wish you invest in, select the number of shares you want to buy, and confirm the order.

    What is a Share Dealing Account in the UK?

    In order to understand share dealing, let’s start with the basics: what is a share? A share is essentially a unit representing ownership in a company. Companies usually issue shares to raise funds. Investors buy them in the belief that the company will perform well and that they will make gains from the company’s good performance.

    The value of shares is based on the value of the company. For instance, if a company is worth €10 million and there are 5 million shares, each share is worth €2. The value of shares constantly fluctuates for a variety of reasons. These include its performance in the stock trading market and various economic factors.

    Now that we understand what shares are, let’s get into share dealing. Share dealing is one of the many forms of investment trading. It involves buying shares in publicly listed companies and selling them later at a higher price to make a profit.

    To do so, you need a share dealing account. A share dealing account is a facility using which you buy, sell and even hold your investments in shares.

    Why Use a Share Dealing Account?

    One thing you can be sure of is that you will never find shares on the shelves of any store. That is where a share dealing account comes in.

    It provides the easiest as well as the most cost-effective way to purchase shares online. Using this account, you can buy the shares of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange or the Alternative Investment Market.

    When using such an account, you also gain access to a broker’s trading platform, research facilities and a host of investing tools.

    Top 6 Share Dealing Accounts in the UK

    1. eToro – Best for Beginners

    Established in 2007, eToro has expanded remarkably over the years and now has over 5 million active users. Though it is not yet listed on any exchange, UK traders will appreciate the fact that it is regulated by top-tier regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) among others.

    One of the key features that have led to its massive popularity is copy trading. As the name implies, this involves less seasoned traders mimicking the trading strategies and trades of those with more experience. All of its users can invest a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $500,000 in one trade.

    Another great feature for beginners is the demo account that comes with $100,000 in virtual money. That is sufficient capital to practice trading before committing real money.

    For its traders in the EU, the service offers commission-free ETF and stock trading. It also offers competitive fees for non-EU member countries. However, it has a high withdrawal fee of $25.

    Additionally, eToro has a reasonably extensive product offering, consisting of 1,500+ shares among other things. Traders get to choose between a web platform and a mobile app. Some of the highlights of the web app include a sleek design and intuitive interface.

    Given the international scope of the service, it comes in 21 languages. It also has a great search functionality and it’s easy to set notifications and price alerts. The mobile app is also user-friendly and works on iOS and Android. On the downside, customization options are limited on both its web platform and mobile app.

    Lastly, eToro has excellent customer support, available on live chat and an online ticketing system. Unfortunately, you cannot reach them round the clock or over the weekend.

    Fee Summary:

    • Withdrawals - $5
    • Inactivity fee - $10 monthly after 1 year

    Our Rating

    • Great web-based and mobile trading platforms
    • Demo account with $100,000 in virtual money
    • Copy trading feature for training newbies
    • Limited education tools
    CFDs are complex financial instruments and 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

    2. Hargreaves Lansdown – Best Variety of Investment Offerings

    As one of the largest platforms for share dealing in the UK, it is also one of the most reputable for private investors. The depth of features on the site is nothing short of impressive. What stands out the most has got to be its wide range of investment offerings.

    Traders using the service get access to trade shares on at least 20 international exchanges. It also offers Vantage SIPP for pensions and Stocks & Shares ISA. Other offerings here include more than 2,500 ETFs, funds, corporate bonds and gilts.

    It makes use of a tiered fee structure based on the number of deals a user had during the previous month. The typical higher-end fee is £11.95 per deal, but with 20 or more share deals during the previous month, it comes down to £5.95.

    The higher-end fee makes it one of the most expensive services. However, for frequent traders, the deal is quite competitive. Hargreaves Lansdown charges annual management fees but does not charge for inactivity or direct trading.

    Its trading platform is above average and the mobile trading app is one of the best in the market. Though the former is not available as a desktop app, it is accessible on the web. On the other hand, the mobile app works on both iOS and Android.

    Hargreaves Lansdown offers a robust research section with plenty of data from third-party sources as well as its own treasure trove of information. Though it does not have a stock screener, its in-house commentary and research are among the most compelling.

    Similarly, there is plenty of educational material for share trading and beyond, but it lacks webinars and video tutorials, which is rather disappointing.

    Fees Summary:

    • Share Trading - £5.95 to £11.95
    • Annual Management Fees – 0.45%
    • Annual Custody Fee – 0.10% to 0.25%

    • Full-featured mobile app
    • Extensive range of investment offerings
    • Great research tools
    • No webinars and video tutorials
    • Expensive

    3. Saxo Markets - Best Trading Platforms

    On Saxo Markets, traders enjoy access to more than 30,000 international products and 19,000 stocks which they get to trade on at least 36 international exchanges. Regardless of whether you are a new trader or not, this service offers remarkable usability.

    Thanks to its SaxoTraderGO (web-based) and SaxoTraderPRO (desktop) trading platforms, users get access to a plethora of trading tools on an intuitive interface. The web-based option is more widely used and for good reason. It sports a crisp design and has a focus on functionality, operating at remarkable speeds with flawless execution.

    Just like the SaxoTraderGO, the mobile trading app is equally compelling. Price alerts and watchlists here sync over from the desktop version. Placing a trade is quick and convenient. Almost all the features of the desktop app are available on mobile with the exception of some research information.

    When it comes to research, this provider goes beyond the ordinary. One of the best features of the research section is the top-notch breakdown of every exchange under its equities’ section. On its social community portal, users can share research. When it comes to education, interactive courses make Saxo ideal for newbies. The courses offer thorough content and traders have an opportunity to sign up for new webinars weekly and view older ones on demand.

    There are three account types to choose from. These are VIP, Platinum and Classic. On the lowest tier, the Classic account, users need a £500 minimum deposit. Under the same package, buying shares costs 0.10% per trade and the minimum amount payable is £8.

    Generally speaking, the rates here are highly competitive for traders in the two upper tiers or for those who trade at least 100 times monthly but the base rate of £8 per trade is average.

    Other account fees include:

    • Inactivity fee – £25
    • Market data subscription fee – Vary from exchange to exchange (£6 monthly on the LSE and USD 7 monthly for NYSE and NASDAQ)
    • Custody fee – 0.12% per annum

    Our Rating

    • Highly usable trading apps
    • Available on multiple platforms
    • Highly competitive trading fees for upper tiers
    • High account minimum requirement

    4. Interactive Investor – Most Extensive Research Tools

    Interactive Investor currently has a user base of more than 300,000 traders. One of its unique features is the flat-fee model of pricing similar to the one Netflix uses.

    The pricing varies by service plan, and there are different costs for trading UK shares and trading ETFs. Investor plan is the cheapest for share dealing while Funds plan costs slightly higher and Super Investor is the highest. Additionally, you get 2 or 3 free trades monthly and zero commissions for regular investing.

    Fundamental research on this site is phenomenal, to say the least. Most of the assets have top-tier reports in PDF format, and there are tons of articles as well as podcasts. On the articles, you will find information about individual shares and data on how events affect the markets.

    On the web-based trading platform, technical analysis tools are not that impressive. Charts come from Morningstar and only cover the basics as there are only 10 indicators and no drawing tools.

    Its mobile trading app is also average, with great usability but limited features. You can trade on the go, read news and access watchlists and charts, but you cannot get fundamental data or research here.

    When it comes to the investment offerings, you can access at least 17 international exchanges, including some in Asia, North America and Europe. There are quick-start funds and ethical investment options for socially responsible trading.

    The education section is not the most compelling. For instance, newbies will get some information on how to buy and sell shares, but no in-depth content.

    Fees Summary:

    • Share Trading – From £3.99 to £7.99
    • Custody Fee - £9.99 per month
    • Telephone dealing fee - £49
    • Inactivity Fee - None

    • Great research tools
    • Compelling fee structure
    • Extensive investment options
    • Limited educational resources

    5. IG - Best for Usability

    Established in 1974, IG is one of the most reputable brokerage firms globally. It has a client base of over 195,000 active users. It supports share dealing of over 9,000 shares on 19 international exchanges.

    Share dealing rates here are highly competitive, starting from as low as £3 per trade. The only condition you need to meet for this is to trade at least thrice every month. If you trade U.S. shares at least three times during any given month, you get to trade for free during the next month.

    The IG trading platform offers exceptional performance, with 30 technical indicators and 19 drawing tools. Usability is simply matchless. You can easily filter shares by sector, focus, industry or country. With a single click, you can read news and setting price alerts is a breeze. It is also possible to trade directly from charts, create and save custom layouts for future use and display events.

    On the mobile app, you can access most of the features on the main trading platform, as well as manage alerts and watchlists.

    Though it lacks fundamental research data, its technical analysis, screening and social research features are great. For instance, you can view the percentage of people who bought or sold a particular share during the previous week. Users with live accounts can access forums where they can discuss markets and trading. Other great research features include a live video that airs thrice daily and regular CEO interviews.

    Aside from the traditional share dealing account, you can also open an ISA or SIPP account here. Regardless of your trading level, IG Academy has all the resources you may need. These come in the form of trading courses and live sessions that you can access on a mobile app or online.

    Fee Summary:

    • Custody Fees - £24 per quarter (Users can be exempted by trading at least thrice quarterly)
    • Share dealing - £3 to £8
    • Telephone Dealing Fee - £40

    • Matchless usability
    • Excellent educational resources
    • Competitive share dealing rates
    • Limited fundamental research data

    6. DEGIRO – Most Competitive Dealing Rates

    Though it was only founded in 2013, DEGIRO has managed to draw over 400,000 clients spread across 18 countries. One of the major reasons for its popularity has something to do with its highly competitive commission fees. It charges a rate way below most of the major brokerage firms in the UK. Here, you can trade individual shares for as low as £1.75+0.014% with a £5 maximum.

    Traders in the US, on the other hand, can trade for €0.50+$0.004 for every share, with no maximum. On other competitively priced platforms, the lowest rates at the present start from about €4+0.156%. As a trade-off for the unbelievable fees, you get a very minimalistic trading platform.

    There are no drawing tools and you cannot save templates and charts. You can view stock splits and dividends and pop-out interactive charts for viewing the 23 technical indicators.

    The mobile app is also basic, particularly with regards to research, but on the plus side, it is easy to navigate and highly intuitive. You can use it to trade directly and create watchlists as well as sync it with the web-based app. Just like the trading app, the research features on DEGIRO are highly minimalistic.

    On individual shares, you get no company info and the market news section is rather shallow, but even though the educational resources are limited, they are of top-notch quality.

    On its educational section, Investor’s Academy, you will find 10 educational videos. These cover the entire trading and investment journey. Another great feature of this service is the wide range of investments on offer. At the moment, traders can access at least 30 international exchanges. Unfortunately, investors in the UK cannot have ISA or SIPP accounts.

    Fee Summary:

    • Share Dealing - £1.75+0.014%
    • Annual Custody Fee - £0
    • Telephone Dealing Fee - £10+0.10% for every order

    • One of the lowest cost share dealing accounts
    • High quality educational resources
    • Wide range of investment offerings
    • Limited research and educational resources

    Features to Look for When Choosing a Share Dealing Account Platform

    Considering the number of share dealing account service providers out there, choosing one might appear to be a daunting task. To make it more manageable, let’s break it down into the important criteria you need to keep in mind:

    • Fees

    For your share dealing endeavours to net a profit, the cost is one of the most crucial factors you need to take into account. Every service provider has their own fees and charges and if you are not careful, these can turn a profitable move into a loss.

    Before selecting any platform, think about what type of investor or trader you are. How large is your portfolio and how many trades do you intend to place every month? What is the overall trading cost based on the above criteria?

    • Security

    First, ensure that you only deal with services that have licensing from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Also, only use secure networks when entering any personal information. Take a moment also to go through the security policy of the sites to steer clear of fraud and security breaches.

    • Trading Platform Capabilities

    Depending on your experience level and trading preferences, you may want to find out beforehand about the trading platform. The trading platform will determine how easy it is to trade shares as well as what type of trading tools you can get access to.

    • Research

    Many providers offer research as part of their services, but not all do. Additionally, the research resources vary significantly from one provider to the next. Research is undoubtedly important as it helps you gain useful insights about investment decisions, but for hardcore veterans, it is possible to trade extensive research for low trading rates.

    • Mobile Trading App Capabilities

    For anyone who appreciates the opportunity to trade on the go, a mobile app is a must. However, the capability of such apps varies remarkably. While most apps offer just the basics of trading, research and account management, you can also find more comprehensive options. If you would like to carry out all your activities on a mobile device, a full-featured app would be most suitable.

    • Investment Offering and Market Coverage

    Share dealing covers a wide array of assets across various markets, both in the UK and internationally. Depending on your trading needs, ensure that the platform you choose covers the entire spectrum of offerings.

    • Reliability and Speed

    Everyone wants a reliable service, one that can make trading quick and simple. At the same time, it is best to use one that offers tight spreads to avoid overpaying.

    • Customer Service

    User needs vary significantly when it comes to customer service. Before choosing a platform, make sure that the customer support services can meet your needs. Take note that most providers who offer tailored customer support tend to charge more.

    • Reputation

    In addition to doing your own research about a provider, you might also want to find out what other customers have to say. What a provider claims versus what they actually offer may differ. Get firsthand opinions from independent users who actually have experience with the platform.

    Conclusion

    Share dealing in the UK offers a highly lucrative investment opportunity. In order to make the most of it, you need to take time to choose the best platform.

    Since there are almost as many platforms as investors, this task may seem overwhelming at the onset. With the wealth of information provided in the above guide, finding your ideal fit should be a breeze.

    Each of the platforms discussed above has its fair share of highlights as well as downsides. The ultimate choice for you boils down to identifying your priorities and matching these to the available options.

    At the end of the day, it is best to find a balance among the crucial features discussed above when selecting the best platform for your needs. This way, you will be able to minimize possible negatives while capitalizing on the advantages.

    FAQs

    How will I make money from share dealing?

    The first and easiest way is to wait for your portfolio to grow as shares increase in value and then sell the shares at a profit. Another way is through dividends paid out to shareholders based on company performance.

    Will my share dealing profits be subject to tax?

    Yes, all the profits you make will be subject to a 0.5% stamp duty as well as Capital Gains Tax.

    Is it possible to transfer my shares from one share dealing account to another?

    Yes, however, you will need to pay fees for the transfer. The fees are charged according to the number of companies whose shares you own.

    Will I be able to buy shares in any company?

    No, you can only buy shares in companies that are listed on stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange and AIM.

    Is it safe to invest in shares?

    Just like any other form of investment, investing in shares comes with its set of risks. In fact, shares are considered a high-risk, high-reward asset class. Always do your research well to minimize risk and maximize gains.

    See Our Full Range Of Trading Resources – Traders A-Z

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.

    Nica specializes in financial technology and cryptocurrency. At her young age, she was already able to work with a Y Combinator-backed startup and another startup founded by Harvard graduates.