Which Share Dealing Service Should I Use?

Written by Editorial Team
Last updated: 31st October 2023

How to select a share dealing service?

When considering a share dealing provider there are lots of factors that may influence your decision.

Some of the common reasons why a service is selected are:

  • Cost per trade – If you plan to trade regularly, what you pay per trade can add up over time. Many share dealing services reward you if you deal over a certain amount of times per month. Interactive Investor charges a fixed fee per month for their service, which allows you to get a lower cost per trade, which may work for you.
  • Functionality – Looking for the latest functionality or research tools? Some share dealing platforms put a lot of investment into tools and features you may or may not value.
  • Mobile features – If you need to be kept up to date at all times, then some providers offer better apps than others.
  • Investment coverage – If you are trading solely UK-listed companies, then there is no need to consider platforms that offer every market.
  • Advanced tools – For serious traders, access to Level 2 prices may be necessary. This may be an additional cost with some platforms.
  • Security – How seriously does the platform take security?

The share dealing service you select should be aligned with your investment requirements. A low-cost-per-trade headline is good if you are looking to trade frequently not so helpful if you only plan to trade a couple of times a month.

1. Interactive Investor

With ii you pay a flat monthly fee of £4.99 for those investing up to £50,000. The next tier is the Investor plan at £11.99 pm which is there most popular plan where you can add friends and family.  For active investors you pay a fixed £19.99 pm and then £3.99 per trade for UK shares and ETFs.

Voted by ADVFN “Best Low-Cost Stockbroker and Best Stockbroker for International Dealing” 2023, ii offers over 40,000 UK and global stocks across 17 stock exchanges. You can reduce your FX costs by managing money in up to 9 currencies. Access to award winning Quotestream, Level 2 streaming prices.

ii are the number one flat fee investment platform in the UK, with £50bn of assets under administration and over 400,000 customers. With offices in London, Leeds and Manchester they employ over 500 people.

Review of the ii share dealing app:

Ideal for use with the ii trading, ISA and SIPP accounts, their app is available for iPhone® and Android devices. The ii app is as safe and secure as trading online, and by using your existing username and password you can trade, get quotes and manage your portfolio with a touch of a button. Latest update includes: Face & Touch ID – fast and secure access to your account and Secure Messaging.

Trade From
£4.99 pm
Using the Investor Essentials plan
Ideal for investors who want flexibility and uncapped investment options.
Platform Fees
No transfer or exit fees. From £4.99 using the Investor Essentials plan

Why we like it: An award-winning trading account. The second largest platform in the UK with the widest choice of investment options in the market including funds, investment trusts, ETF’s and more. Open online in less than 10 minutes. Access to expert independent ideas and analysis. Low cost fees and trading. Capital at risk.


2. AJ Bell

AJ Bell Youinvest offers low cost trading from £4.95 per trade.

Voted by Which? “Investment Platform” in 2023, AJ Bell offer a wide choice of investments including shares, funds and investment trusts. You can trade shares in 24 international markets. AJ Bell offer a range of investment tools, videos and research to support your trading.

According to Which?  AJ Bell reported more than 17,000 new account openings for its YouInvest consumer platform in the first 3 months of this year, making it a record quarter for the firm. The platform provider saw a 9% increase in new customer platform growth.

AJ Bell is one of the UK’s largest online platforms with assets of £48bn under administration for 250,000+ customers. In 2019 they won the Which?

Trade From
ADVFN "Best Execution Only Broker 2020"
Platform Fees
0.25% pa
Good to know: There is no charge to set up or transfer a share dealing account and no charge to pay money into the account. You can deal from as little as £1.50, and you will never pay more than £5.00 per online deal. Voted ‘Best Execution Only Broker 2020’  by ADVFN International Financial Awards. Capital at risk.

3. Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown offers trading from £5.95 per trade.

Voted “Winner” for Share Dealing” in 2023 by Finder. With HL you get free live share prices with stop loss and limit order functionality, with access to a range of technical analysis tools. HL provide expert research and share alerts. Their trading platform offers 8 customisable display options.

HL was founded in 1981 and serves over 1.7m customers with £105bn under administration. HL are a FTSE 100 Company based in Bristol employing over 1500 people.

Trade From
UK's No1 broker. Trusted by over 1 million investors.
Platform Fees
No fees for share dealing

Good to know: Online trading charges based on previous month’s activity. 20+ trades made in previous month is £5.95 a trade. 10-19 trades are £8.95 a trade. Less than 10 trades it’s £11.95. Get Access to live prices. Easy set up – Buy & sell shares in minutes! Capital at risk.


4. Lightyear

With Lightyear you can buy UK shares from £1.

Lightyear is one of the most competitively priced investment platforms available. With Lightyear, you can invest in 3,000+ US stocks across the NYSE and Nasdaq.

In the App you have access to custom charts, instrument fundamentals, analyst ratings & price targets and financial news.

Lightyear offers a simple and approachable way to invest your money globally within an easy to use app.

5. IG

IG offer a low cost trading from £3 per trade. Buy and sell over 12,000 international stocks.

Voted winner “Best Trading App” Investors Chronicle Investment Wealth Management Awards, IG offer extensive functionality through their trading platform. IG provide advanced platforms and charting, including L” dealer, ProRealTime and MT4 with a full suite of alerts and risk management tools. IG also offer free trading courses and webinars as well as an online community where you can share ideas.

Founded in 1974, IG are an FTSE 250 company authorised and regulated by the FCA. They have 1,5500+ employees and a £1.98bn market cap.


Compare Share Dealing Services On UK Shares

Provider UK Shares
Lightyear £1
Interactive Investor From £4.99 pm flat fee, then £11.99pm or £19.99pm for frequent traders
Hargreaves Lansdown    £11.95 reducing to £5.95 if you traded 20 times in prior month
AJ Bell £9.95 reducing to £4.95 if you traded 10 times or more in prior month
IG £8.00 reducing to £3 if you traded 3+ times in previous month


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.