Best Share Dealing Platforms – Our Top Picks In 2023

Written by Editorial Team
Last updated: 19th November 2023

Our selected best share dealing platforms in 2023 for traders:

Our review looks at share trading platforms and apps that offer investors:

  • Cost per trade value
  • Functionality
  • Mobile features
  • Investment coverage
  • Advanced tools
  • Security

The online share dealing platform you select should be aligned with your investment requirements.

Join today & get £50 FREE trading credit (T&Cs apply).
More than 40,000 UK & international investment options

Invest from £1

Features:
Flat fee plan starts from £4.99 pm
No trading fees when you top up monthly with the ii regular investing service.
Go to website »
Trusted by over 400,000 people. Fully FSCS protected. ADVFN Winner 2022 "Best Low Cost Stockbroker". Capital at risk.
Invest in over 6,100+ US, UK & EU stocks & ETFs commission-free




Features:
Start with £2 investment. Superb app design and transparent account charges. Great for beginners and experienced investors alike
Go to website »
Trusted by over 1.5 million people. FSCS protected. Capital at risk. Other charges may apply. No subscription required
Choose from over 2,000 funds
From £25 per month

Features:
Low cost ISA. Multi-award winning ISA provider. Trade from:
£1.50 Funds
£5.00 Shares, ETFs, investment trusts and gilts and bonds
£3.50 Frequent shares dealing charge
Go to website »
Mobile app - manage your portfolio on the move. FSCS protected. Capital at risk.
Trade UK & International shares for £6. No charge for fund trades

Features:

One simple customer fee of 0.25% p.a.
8,000+ investments to choose from.
Go to website »
Barclays gives you the investment choice and research tools you need to grow your money. Over 300,000 people have used our award winning service, expert insights and resources to help work towards their financial goals. Voted Best Stockbroker at the Online Money Awards 2023. Capital at risk.
Access over 3,000 funds. UK & Overseas shares.
Invest from £100 or £25 pm

Features:
Live share prices.
Award winning services.
Go to website »
Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK's No 1 platform for private investors trusted by over 1.6 million customers. Capital at risk.
Access to 70,000+ instruments, smart trading tools & market insights

Investment platform for different needs and experience levels

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Saxo serve clients in 170 countries, hold 70+ bn GBP in assets under management & process 1m transactions daily. FCA regulated. Capital at risk.
Buy & trade over 3500+ UK, EU and US stocks with low 0.35% currency conversion.


Features:
Say goodbye to high minimums and barriers to entry. Capital at Risk
Go to website »
Multi-currency investing, your money goes even further without the constant foreign exchange fees. Deposit, hold and invest in international stock markets in EUR, GBP and USD — all under one roof. Shares have a low, transparent execution cost. Investing in your local ETFs is completely free of Lightyear fee (other fees may apply). Earn interest on uninvested cash. Access live news feeds about the stocks you own, as well as professional analyst ratings & price targets. Lightyear is now live on web and has launched earnings calls audios. Capital at Risk. We, Fair Investment Company, will be paid a referral fee if you open an account and deposit funds through some of the links on this page. This includes financial promotion.
Invest in real stocks with 0% commission*. Over 5300 instruments


Features:
XTB is one of the largest stock exchange-listed FX brokers in the world with 720,000+ customers and over 20 years of activity in the financial markets. Capital at Risk

Earn 5.2% interest rate per annum on uninvested GBP


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World class trading platform: Easy to use, fully customisable, superior execution speeds, performance statistics. Applying for an account is quick and easy with a secure online form, and you could be trading within minutes. Wide range of instruments -forex, indices, commodities, shares and ETF’s. Multilingual customer support team is ready to help you - 24h hours a day from Monday to Friday. *For monthly turnover up to 100,000 EUR (then comm. 0.2%, min. 10 EUR). Capital at risk
Buy & trade over 17,000+ shares online. FX conversion fee of just 0.5%.
Invest from £1

Features:
Easy to use platform. Demo account. Speak to other traders. Award winning trading app.
Go to website »
IG offer exclusive out of hours giving access to 70+ shares when the market is closed. 313,000+ clients worldwide. FCA Regulated. Capital at risk. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money
Choice of 500 low cost ETF Funds
Invest from £1

Features:
No buying or selling fees. No ISA account charges. Powerful automation. Easy diversification. DIY or managed.
Go to website »
The InvestEngine offers investors a low cost ETF investment platform. Build your own portfolio commission free or leave it to their experts for just 0.25%. Build your own low cost portfolio using managers such as Vanguard, iShares & Invesco. FSCS protected. Capital at risk.

 

What is a share dealing platform?

Share dealing platforms allow you to buy stocks and shares through an online dealing account.

You can buy and sell shares, ETFs, funds and other types of investments and benefit from growth and dividends in your portfolio.

Share dealing platforms charge you each time you buy or sell a share and often charge an ongoing annual management charge based on the value of your portfolio.

How do I choose a share dealing platform?

Choosing a share dealing platform to invest with can be difficult, mainly because all stock brokers offer the same thing: access to invest in the stock market.

However there are significant differences between each account and pros and cons for different investing types.

This guide tells you the most important things to consider when comparing share dealing platforms.

For reviews of individual share dealing platforms see below:

AJ Bell

Interactive Investor

InvestEngine

Lightyear

Moneyfarm

Nutmeg

What shares and markets are available?

You can invest in various stock exchanges through share dealing platforms in the UK, but not all providers facilitate the same range of international stock exchanges.

The biggest stock markets for investment traders are typically:

  • The London Stock Exchange (from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 350 and AIM markets)
  • The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq
  • The Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • The DAX

Think about the share portfolio you want to buy and ensure your platform can hold all your shares.

In addition, think about the investment you want to hold in your share dealing platform.

Here are our top three most popular types of investments to hold in a share dealing account:

  1. Shares – overseas or UK shares of individual companies
  2. Managed Funds and Investment Trusts – including unit trusts and OEICs
  3. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Index Funds – tracker funds that track a stock index or market

How much does it cost to buy shares?

Each share dealing platform has varying dealing fees. Depending on what type of assets you are purchasing and how often you’ll likely be trading, some providers will work out cheaper than others.

Here are some examples of share dealing fees and how they are charged to help you when comparing dealing account fees:

  • Fixed fees per trade.
  • Commission-based fees, e.g. 0.1% of your trade capped at a minimum and maximum limit.
  • Some providers offer discounted dealing fees for frequent traders.
  • Some providers charge different fees for trading different assets, for example, equities compared to funds.

How much are you charged for holding shares?

On top of dealing charges, you may also pay an ongoing annual management charge or platform fee on your share dealing account.

This could be:

  • A fixed annual charge.
  • Based on a percentage of your portfolio’s value.
  • A tiered structure for discounts at certain value thresholds, e.g., your portfolio value over the first £500k, could be free of charge.
  • As with dealing fees, some providers charge more for holding equities (traded on a live stock exchange) than funds (only traded once daily).

What account and trading features do they offer?

If you’re day trading or at least trading every week, then there are a few account features that many traders view as must-haves:

  • Stop Losses

Stop losses allow you to trigger a holding to sell when the stock reaches a specific price automatically. A stop-loss order can significantly reduce your losses if your shares start losing value while you aren’t watching the live price.

  • Limit Orders

Similar to stop losses, but for buy instructions instead. If a share price reaches a specified low price when you are not monitoring it, you can create an automated trigger to purchase shares at a low in view of them bouncing back up in value.

  • Prices Alerts

Price alerts via your stock trading app help you keep track of price fluctuations by notifying you when certain peaks and troughs are met.

  • Holding Foreign Currencies

If you’re trading on international markets like the US stock market, then holding cash in the designated currency for that exchange is a huge plus. It means you don’t have to pay additional exchange rate charges when you trade.

  • Demo Accounts or Watchlists

Demo accounts or watchlists are a great way of creating a fake portfolio to test your trading skills. There’s no risk involved, and it will help you learn real shares trading.

How good is their trading app?

The functionality of your providers’ mobile trading app can be the difference for the best trading account.

An online stockbroker with higher charges might have more cash flow to invest in their technology and mobile app, so it could be worth paying for the additional costs.

The same goes for customer service and investment research.

If you have a problem with a trade or deal, you’ll want to be able to speak to somebody straight away.

And if you’re new to investing, you’ll benefit from research and insight into shares and trading that could be worth paying higher charges for.

Tax-free share dealing

All share dealing is tax free within a Stocks and Shares ISA, so it’s worth considering using your annual ISA allowance of £20,000 each year to save on tax.

In a share dealing ISA, you don’t have to pay:

  • Income tax on interest and dividends earned through your investments
  • Capital Gains Tax on the gains you make in your portfolio

In a Lifetime ISA you can also get an extra 25% on the value of your LISA contributions to invest. However, you can only withdraw from a LISA for a first house purchase or at age 65, so they are more of a long-term investment account.

Fractional Ownership:

You can benefit from ‘fractional ownership’ with some share trading platforms. One of the few UK brokers to offer this where you can buy a ‘fraction’ of a share.

This can be beneficial for a number of reasons, particularly where company shares are expensive, e.g. the Berkshire Hathaway share price at the time of writing is $462,793.

How do I open a share dealing platform account?

The easiest way to start investing is to open an account online or via your provider’s mobile app.

You’ll need to start by adding money to your account. You can do this with a debit card payment or with a regular direct debit.

IMPORTANT: No news, feature article or comment should be seen as a personal investment recommendation. Before deciding to invest, you should ensure that you are familiar with the risks associated with a particular plan. If you are unsure of the suitability of a particular product, both in respect of its objectives and risk profile, you should seek independent financial advice. The value of shares, ETFs and ETCs, bought through a share dealing account, stocks and shares ISA, or a SIPP can fall and rise, which could mean getting back less than you originally put in. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 67%-81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to risk losing your money. Professional clients can lose more than they deposit. All trading involves risk. Tax treatment of ISAs depends on your circumstances and is based on current law, which may be subject to change in the future. ISA transfer charges may apply; please check with your provider.