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Compare Our Top-Rated Trading Platforms for Beginners in the UK

By: George Sweeney (DipFA) | Updated: 25th November 2021

Here, we’ve gathered together some of the best investment platforms for beginners in the UK. Recent years have seen an increase in new investors; everyone has to start somewhere – and no-one is born knowing how to get into share trading! As a result, many share-dealing accounts offer market research and trading tools for the purpose of helping beginner investors and experienced alike.

Remember, past performance is no guarantee of future returns and unlike cash, the value of investments, and any income from them, can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest. If you’re unsure about the suitability of an investment for your own circumstances, please seek independent financial advice first.

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Looking for a cheaper broker?

Trading fees, FX charges and holding fees can all add up. Our broker cost calculator makes it easy for you to see which providers offer the best value based on how you plan to invest.

Here are The Motley Fool UK's top-rated trading platforms for beginners

Offers from our affiliate partners appear first and are ordered from highest rating to lowest, followed by other top-rated offers. You can read more about our ratings and page sort here. Offers from affiliate partners are marked with a *.

Great for: Long-term investing in shares

5 stars question mark
Hargreaves Lansdown Logo
Apply Now!

On Hargreaves Lansdown's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) is the UK’s market leading share dealing broker, providing easy access to an extensive range of funds, ETFS, UK and overseas shares. HL offers a robust service with an easy-to-use website and plenty of free information to help make your investment decisions — although keep in mind this isn’t a substitute to seeking out independent financial advice. In our view, the ‘Fund and Share’ account is great choice for long-term share investors looking to manage their portfolio online.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Market-leading platform
  • No annual fee for holding shares & ETFs
  • Lower share dealing fees if you trade more often
  • † Other charges may apply - see website for details

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

what we like

  • Market-leading platform
  • No annual fee for holding shares & ETFs
  • Lower share dealing fees if you trade more often
  • Platform Fee:

    £0

  • Share Dealing Charge:

    £5.95 - £11.95

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Market-leading platform
  • No annual fee for holding shares & ETFs
  • Lower share dealing fees if you trade more often
  • † Other charges may apply - see website for details

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

Great for: trading funds and trusts, and monthly share dealing

5 stars question mark
interactive investor logo
Apply Now!

On Interactive Investor's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

Interactive Investor’s share dealing platform is straightforward and uncomplicated, which means it could be a good choice for both the newbie and the more seasoned investor. The platform provides access to a wealth of investment choices, including UK and International shares, funds, investment trusts and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Interactive Investor will even alert you to the latest IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) as they come to the market.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Trading credit worth £7.99 every month with all three available plans
  • The platform is very user friendly and easy to use
  • The flat fee structure makes it easier to anticipate total fees for the year
  • Investors can choose between a selection of shares, funds, investment trusts and ETFs
  • The platform keeps investors informed about the latest IPOs
  • † Reflects the ‘Investor’ pricing plan. Fees for other plans differ. See our full review for more information.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

what we like

  • Trading credit every month worth £7.99
  • A choice between three different price plans
  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Platform Fee:

    £9.99

  • Share Dealing Charge:

    £7.99

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Trading credit worth £7.99 every month with all three available plans
  • The platform is very user friendly and easy to use
  • The flat fee structure makes it easier to anticipate total fees for the year
  • Investors can choose between a selection of shares, funds, investment trusts and ETFs
  • The platform keeps investors informed about the latest IPOs
  • † Reflects the ‘Investor’ pricing plan. Fees for other plans differ. See our full review for more information.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

Great for: novice investors looking for support

4 stars question mark
Barclays Logo
Apply Now!

On Barclays's Secure Website

* Affiliate partner

Barclays Smart Investor makes it easy to take your first step into investing. For those who are beginners, or short on time, it has five Ready-made Investment funds created and monitored by experts.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Ready-made Investment funds for novice investors.
  • Comprehensive Research Centre.
  • A cost calculator is available to help you to work out potential fees before committing to opening an account.
  • † The platform fee is £4 per month minimum, or the sum of 0.2% p.a of funds plus 0.1% p.a of other investments in the account, whichever is greater based on the value of your investment. This fee is capped at £125 per month.
  • ‡ Dealing charge is £3 per online transaction for funds and £6 per online transaction for all other investments. All automated regular investments are £1 per transaction. All telephone transactions are £25 each.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

what we like

  • Five Ready-made Investment funds
  • Barclays' Funds List can help narrow down choices
  • Simple pricing structure and a cap on monthly fees
  • Platform Fee:

    From £4

  • Share Dealing Charge:

    From £3

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Ready-made Investment funds for novice investors.
  • Comprehensive Research Centre.
  • A cost calculator is available to help you to work out potential fees before committing to opening an account.
  • † The platform fee is £4 per month minimum, or the sum of 0.2% p.a of funds plus 0.1% p.a of other investments in the account, whichever is greater based on the value of your investment. This fee is capped at £125 per month.
  • ‡ Dealing charge is £3 per online transaction for funds and £6 per online transaction for all other investments. All automated regular investments are £1 per transaction. All telephone transactions are £25 each.

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn about how and why we work with partners.

Great for: simple and cheap investing.

5 stars question mark

If you want cheap and simple investing right at your fingertips, Freetrade could be the platform for you: the commission-free trading coupled with just a £2 minimum investment makes it a great app to dip your toes into the world of stock-picking. 

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in. Tax benefits depend on individual circumstances and tax rules, which could change.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. Remember that taxes can be complicated and the tax benefits of this product depends on your personal circumstances. Tax rules are subject to change. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Free trading with no commission charge.
  • No monthly, annual, or inactivity charges for a basic general investment account.
  • Invest from as little as £2.
  • Ability to purchase fractional shares of US companies.
  • Additional monthly account fees apply for a Freetrade Stocks & Shares ISA or Freetrade Plus account.
  • On non-UK trades, a foreign exchange (FX) rate is charged equal to the current spot rate plus 0.45%.

what we like

  • Free trading
  • Simple and straightforward account opening
  • Attractive mobile app platform
  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £0.00
  • Share dealing charge:

    £0.00

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in. Tax benefits depend on individual circumstances and tax rules, which could change.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Free trading with no commission charge.
  • No monthly, annual, or inactivity charges for a basic general investment account.
  • Invest from as little as £2.
  • Ability to purchase fractional shares of US companies.
  • Additional monthly account fees apply for a Freetrade Stocks & Shares ISA or Freetrade Plus account.
  • On non-UK trades, a foreign exchange (FX) rate is charged equal to the current spot rate plus 0.45%.

Great for: regular investing (rather than trading) in funds and shares

4.5 stars question mark

If you’re keen to trade much more frequently than one day a month on average, perhaps there are more suitable platforms for your needs. But it suits me to invest my savings on a set day each month; doing so keeps my trading fees extremely low, and as such I’m a very happy accountholder!

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Competitive £9.50 dealing fee relates to online transactions only; Halifax charges a £25 commission for share-dealing over the phone
  • No monthly fees to use the platform
  • Only £2 per trade using the scheduled investment service
  • Comprehensive Share Centre
  • Online Funds Centre
  • Dividend Diary option where you can see companies due to pay dividends each month
  • **No monthly fees to use the platform; £36 customer administration fee (covering any and all accounts held) taken annually.

what we like

  • Competitive reduced dealing commission once a month
  • No annual platform charge
  • Flat rate pricing avoids any confusing percentage-based fees
  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £0**
  • Share dealing charge:

    £9.50

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Competitive £9.50 dealing fee relates to online transactions only; Halifax charges a £25 commission for share-dealing over the phone
  • No monthly fees to use the platform
  • Only £2 per trade using the scheduled investment service
  • Comprehensive Share Centre
  • Online Funds Centre
  • Dividend Diary option where you can see companies due to pay dividends each month
  • **No monthly fees to use the platform; £36 customer administration fee (covering any and all accounts held) taken annually.

Great for: Simple, straightforward share dealing

4 stars question mark

AJ Bell Youinvest is about as simple as an investment platform can be – and investors seem to like it. Launched in 2000, its wealth platform now has 225,000 customers and more than £50 billion worth of assets under administration. The site’s easy-on-the-eye design, attractive charging structure and lack of inactivity fees all deserve your attention. This is a top mainstream offering but with plenty to offer active, experienced stock traders as well.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Competitive dealing fees of £9.95 per share deal
  • Lower dealing fee (£4.95) for those trading more than 10 times/month
  • Clean, easy-to-use platform

what we like

  • Competitive dealing fees of £9.95 per share deal
  • Lower dealing fee (£4.95) for those trading more than 10 times/month
  • Clean, easy-to-use platform

* Based on custody charges for shares. Share custody charges max out at £3.50 per month.

  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £3.50*
  • Share dealing charge:

    £9.95

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Competitive dealing fees of £9.95 per share deal
  • Lower dealing fee (£4.95) for those trading more than 10 times/month
  • Clean, easy-to-use platform

Great for: investors looking for a simple, low-cost share dealing account

4 stars question mark

For beginner & intermediate investors, the iWeb share dealing account shouldn’t be ignored. Operated by Halifax Share Dealing, this account offers a wide range of lower cost investment opportunities. However, limited access to foreign markets might frustrate more adventurous investors.  

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Basic platform with no mobile app
  • Access to investments across seven world markets
  • † One-time £100 fee when you open an account, but you won’t pay any annual administration fees
  • ‡ If you sell or buy any international stock, iWeb converts the price into GBP, adjusts the exchange rate by 1.5%, and keeps the difference as commission
  • Access to research tools

what we like

  • Low commissions and no platform fees
  • No penalties for inactivity
  • UK telephone and live chat available 5 days a week
  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £0.00†
  • Share dealing charge:

    From £5.00‡

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Basic platform with no mobile app
  • Access to investments across seven world markets
  • † One-time £100 fee when you open an account, but you won’t pay any annual administration fees
  • ‡ If you sell or buy any international stock, iWeb converts the price into GBP, adjusts the exchange rate by 1.5%, and keeps the difference as commission
  • Access to research tools

Great for: investors who don’t have time to pick out individual funds

3.5 stars question mark

This is a simple and straightforward platform to use, and very little interference is required from the investor. However, at 0.4% management fee plus the share dealing fees, if you’re on the lower end of the investing spectrum, you’re dumping a substantial amount of capital into fees.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in. Tax benefits depend on individual circumstances and tax rules, which could change.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. Remember that taxes can be complicated and the tax benefits of this product depends on your personal circumstances. Tax rules are subject to change. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Fund fees require some digging
  • Sharedealing will cost £7.50 per trade
  • While transfers are free with Bestinvest, the current provider might have a high charge
  • ISAs are capped. Allowance for 2020/2021 is £20,000
  • * £75.00 for high-value trades
  • **Fee is based on the assumption that the account holds £10,000. The fees are tiered: 

    • Up to £250,000 - 0.4%
    • £250,001 to £1,000,000 - 0.2%
    • £1,000,001 to £1,100,000 - 0%

what we like

  • Ready-made portfolios - enough said!
  • Reasonable management fee of 0.4%
  • Loads of educational material on ISAs and the funds
  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £40**
  • Share dealing charge:

    £7.50*

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in. Tax benefits depend on individual circumstances and tax rules, which could change.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Fund fees require some digging
  • Sharedealing will cost £7.50 per trade
  • While transfers are free with Bestinvest, the current provider might have a high charge
  • ISAs are capped. Allowance for 2020/2021 is £20,000
  • * £75.00 for high-value trades
  • **Fee is based on the assumption that the account holds £10,000. The fees are tiered: 

    • Up to £250,000 - 0.4%
    • £250,001 to £1,000,000 - 0.2%
    • £1,000,001 to £1,100,000 - 0%

Great for: Great for novice investors

3.5 stars question mark

Fidelity’s fees are a little steep compared to other options. However, if you’re new to investing, you may find that it’s worth paying extra for its tools and expertise. Fidelity makes it easy to find investments and funds to match your specific needs. You don’t need a deep understanding of the markets to make informed decisions about your savings.

Read full review >

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

More details [+]

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back all the money you put in. All investments carry a varying degree of risk and it’s important you understand the nature of these risks. The Motley Fool believes in building wealth through long-term investing and so we do not promote or encourage high-risk activities including day trading, CFDs, spread betting, cryptocurrencies, and forex.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • You can search for new investments based on a set of preferences – like dividend yield – which is a huge help for novice investors
  • Busy investors may benefit from Fidelity’s managed funds
  • Fees should be an important consideration if you’re opening a small account
  • *Platform fee 0.20-0.35% of your account balance per year
  • **Sharedealing charge £10 online, £30 over the phone

what we like

  • Easy search tools help you target the right investments
  • Wide range of funds available to suit your risk tolerance
  • Call centres based in the UK and Ireland
  • PLATFORM FEE:

    £45*
  • Share dealing charge:

    £10**

Risk Warning

Investments involve various risks, and you may get back less than you put in.

- More details

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • You can search for new investments based on a set of preferences – like dividend yield – which is a huge help for novice investors
  • Busy investors may benefit from Fidelity’s managed funds
  • Fees should be an important consideration if you’re opening a small account
  • *Platform fee 0.20-0.35% of your account balance per year
  • **Sharedealing charge £10 online, £30 over the phone

First of all, if you’re brand new to investing – welcome! If you’re ready to take the next step and are looking for online trading platforms for beginners, then you’ll find this page useful!

What are trading platforms?

You can think of a trading platform as your investing hub. It’s a space that brokers provide to allow investors to buy and sell shares. It will also be where you can manage your entire investment portfolio and see an overview of your personal progress.

What type of trading is best for beginners?

If you’re brand new to investing, you may want to keep things simple. When you’re beginning your journey, , it’s often best to look for long-term investments to buy and hold.

Short-term trading often comes with greater risks and greater losses. When you’re just starting out with investing, this may not be the best strategy and might scare you off before you’ve even found your feet!

What is required when opening a share dealing account in the UK?

Brokers will require personal details, such as National Insurance number, address, etc. You will also need to provide your bank details, to fund and withdraw from the account.

How many shares of stock should a beginner buy?

Firstly, at The Motley Fool, we believe that it’s wise to invest money for at least five years, since we’re long-term investors. This means that we continue to look for investment opportunities both when the stock market drops, as well as when it’s riding high. 

When it comes to how many shares to buy in a company, well, that depends on many factors including the value of each share, since this differs dramatically across the spectrum: at the time of writing, a single share in Amazon would set an investor back almost £2.5k, while many other companies’ shares have valuations in pennies rather than pounds!

What should a beginner know about starting to invest with little money?

Whilst not a hard and fast rule, a good rule of thumb is to limit the commission charge to no more than 2.5% of the total investment, as this ought to help avoid racking up trading fees. Fortunately, few UK share dealing accounts suitable for beginners charge more than £12.50 commission for trading, so buying £500 worth of shares in a company would meet this suggestion.

Some online brokerages also allow buying fractional shares. Few beginner investors might have two and a half grand lying about and so might not be able to afford to buy a whole share in Amazon – but many trading apps now allow investors to purchase part of a share in companies.

What is the best trading platform for beginners in the UK?

The ‘best’ trading platform for beginners really depends on your personal needs and preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all here, so make sure you consider your needs as the main deciding factor.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is a share dealing account?

Starting with the basics, this is a platform provided by a broker that allows investors to buy and sell shares. It gives an overview of the investor’s personal portfolio of shares held in that account.

How do share dealing accounts work?

Our comprehensive share dealing guide has the detailed answer, but in short, it’s here where transactions are made (the buying and selling of shares), with the account funded by the owner. This can be done ad-hoc, or regular payments from a current account can be set up in advance.

What is required when opening a share dealing account in the UK?

Brokers will require personal details, such as National Insurance number, address, etc. You will also need to provide your bank details, to fund and withdraw from the account.

What fees do share dealing account brokers charge?

Fees vary, but beginner investors should be mindful of the trading charges for UK and international stocks, as well as any monthly, quarterly or annual platform fees.

How many shares of stock should a beginner buy?

Firstly, at The Motley Fool, we believe that it’s wise to invest money for at least five years, since we’re long-term investors. This means that we continue to look for investment opportunities both when the stock market drops, as well as when it’s riding high. 

When it comes to how many shares to buy in a company, well, that depends on many factors including  the value of each share, since this differs dramatically across the spectrum: at the time of writing, a single share in Amazon would set an investor back almost £2.5k, while many other companies’ shares have valuations in pennies rather than pounds!

What should one know about starting to invest with little money?

Whilst not a hard and fast rule, a good rule of thumb is to limit the commission charge to no more than 2.5% of the total investment, as this ought to help avoid racking up trading fees. Fortunately, few UK share dealing accounts suitable for beginners charge more than £12.50 commission for trading, so buying £500 worth of shares in a company would meet this suggestion.

Some online brokerages also allow buying fractional shares. Few beginner investors might have two and a half grand lying about and so might not be able to afford to buy a whole share in Amazon - but many trading apps now allow investors to purchase part of a share in companies.

What is the cheapest share dealing account?

We’ve gathered together what we view as some of the top low-cost share-dealing platforms in the UK. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that “cheapest” isn’t the only factor to consider, especially for novice investors, which is why we’ve compiled this list of share dealing accounts for beginners.

Which share is best to buy for beginners?

Well, that really depends on your personal needs and preferences but we’ve gathered together what we view as some of the top providers of online share dealing brokerage accounts in the UK, though do also look to see whether a Stocks And Shares ISA might be more suitable. But, of course, this very page you’re on aims to list a number of the top share dealing accounts for beginners that we’ve discovered.

Are share dealing account brokers regulated?

Online share trading platforms are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Can you have a joint share dealing account?

Many brokers do offer joint dealing accounts, yes. However, you cannot open a joint Stocks And Shares ISA, as each Individual Savings Account needs to be in one person’s name.

What is execution-only share dealing?

Execution-only brokers offer no financial advice or warnings relating to investing. Execution-only share dealing simply ‘does what it says on the tin’ and facilitates trades, without providing research services or the like. This can lead to lower share-dealing fees to appeal to experienced and frequent traders.


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers.