Best Day Trading Platforms in the UK

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Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury

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Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

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Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell

Co-Founder

Dom, a Co-Founder at TIC, is an avid investor and experienced blogger who specialises in financial markets and wealth management. He strives to help people make smart investment decisions through clear and engaging content.

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Last Updated 04/07/2024
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Please bear in mind that trading involves the risk of capital loss. 51% to 84% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with the providers below. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Quick Answer: What is the best platform for day trading in the UK?

For UK day traders seeking the best platform in 2024, eToro stands out as the leading choice, offering a wide array of trading tools, superior platforms, and access to global markets. It is tailored to meet the needs of active traders. Spreadex, AvaTrade, and PepperStone also deliver excellent trading services, making them strong contenders in the market.

Here are the top 10 best Day Trading Platforms in the UK:

  1. eToro By far the Best Platform for Trading
  2. SpreadEX – Best Choice for Intermediate Traders
  3. Saxo Outstanding advanced technical anlaysis features
  4. Avatrade – Best for Beginners

  5. IG – Most easy to use platform

  6. Plus500 – Great for CFD Service Analytic tools 
  7. Pepperstone – Best for a range of platforms

  8. City Index – All round strong trading platform

  9. XTB – Unique Trading Platform features

  10. CMC Markets – Access to great trading assets

Day Trading Broker Comparison

etoro
5/5
51% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Spreadex logo
4.5/5
64% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4.5/5
64% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4.5/5
71% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4/5
69% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4.5/5
80% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4/5
74-89% of retail CFD accounts lose money
3.5/5
69% of retail CFD accounts lose money
4/5
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money
CMC markets logo
4/5
67% of retail CFD accounts lose money
Fee Score
4
4.1
4.2
3.8
3.5
3.9
4.1
3.9
3.4
3.8
Platform Score
5
4.8
4.8
4.8
4.9
4.9
3.5
4.2
4.3
4.6
Account Opening Score
5
4.8
4.9
5
4.5
5
3.5
4.2
4.4
4.4
EURUSD Spread
1
Varies
Varies on Account
0.9
0.6
0.8
0.1
1.1
1
0.7
Withdrawl/ Deposit Fee
$5
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Minimum Deposit
$0
$0
$0
$100
$0
$100
$0
$0
$10
$0
MT4 Available
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
No
No
FCA Regulated
Yes
Yes
Yes
No (CBI In Ireland)
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
FSCS Protection of £85K to UK Clients
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Supported Assets
Stocks ETFs Cryptocurrencies Indices (CFDs) Commodities (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (CFDs) ETFs (CFDs) Indices (CFDs) Commodities (CFDs)
CFDs on Forex, Stocks & ETFs, Indices, Index Options, Commodities & Bonds + Investing Asssets, Thematic Investing
Forex Stocks (CFDs) ETFs (CFDs) Cryptocurrencies Commodities (CFDs) Indices (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (including fractional shares) ETFs Options Cryptocurrencies Futures Indices Commodities
Forex Stocks (CFDs) ETFs (CFDs) Cryptocurrency CFDs Indices (CFDs) Options on indices CFDs Commodities (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (CFDs and DMA) ETFs (CFDs and DMA) Cryptocurrencies (CFDs) Commodities (CFDs) Indices (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (CFDs) ETFs (CFDs) Options on shares Indices (CFDs) Commodities (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (CFDs) ETFs (CFDs) Indices (CFDs) Commodities (CFDs)
Forex Stocks (including fractional shares) ETFs Options Futures Spread bets Commodities

10 Best Day Trading Platforms

4.7/5

TIC Score 4.7/5

eToro - By far the Best Platform for Trading

etoro screen shot showing mobile app

Pros

Cons

CFDs are complex instruments with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money when trading CFD’s with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.1 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: No commissions on stocks and ETFs. 1% fee on buying/selling cryptocurrencies.

  • Other fees: Withdrawal fee ($5).

  • Web-based platform with basic technical analysis tools

  • Copy trading platform

  • Smart Portfolio – automated investment portfolios

  • Sentiment indicators

spreadex logo
4.6/5

TIC Score 4.6/5

SpreadEX - Best Choice for Intermediate Traders

SpreadEX Trading Benefits for Indices: 24-Hour Trading on many indices, Tight Spreads from 1pt on UK 100, 1pt on Germany 40, and 1.7pts on Wall St., Access to over 30 Indices Markets from Europe, US, and Asia, and FCA Regulation ensuring security and compliance.

Pros

Cons

64% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type.

  • Commissions: No commissions.

  • Web-based platform with basic technical analysis tools

  • Limited order types (market, limit, stop-loss)

  • Economic calendar and news feed

saxo bank logo
4.5/5

TIC Score 4.5/5

Saxo Bank - Outstanding advanced technical anlaysis features

Saxo Screen shot showing different asset classes on home page
Saxo Awards accolades

Pros

Cons

81% 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.

  • FX: Spreads as low as 0.4 Pips

  • CFDs: Spreads as low as 0.85 on UK 100

  • Other fees: Commissions from $1 on US Stocks, check their website here for further information: Saxo Fees

  • SaxoTraderGO (advanced platform)

  • SaxoTrader platform (basic platform)

  • Advanced order types (including OCO and trailing stops)

  • Algorithmic trading capabilities

  • Market data and news feed

4.5/5

TIC Score 4.5/5

Avatrade - Best for Beginners

Avatrade desktop interface showcasing trading platform features

Pros

Cons

76% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.0 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: No commissions on forex, CFDs on indices and commodities. Varies for share CFDs (0.02% – 0.05%).

  • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£10 after 6 months), withdrawal fees (variable).

  • AvaProtect – customisable stop-loss protection
  • AvaSocial – copy trading platform
  • AvaAlerts – real-time market alerts and notifications
  • AvaTraderGO – mobile trading app
  • Auto trading – algorithmic trading platform
  • Economic calendar and news feed
IG logo red for summary table
4/5

TIC Score 4/5

IG - Most Easy to Use

IG Screen shot

Pros

Cons

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% 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.

    • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.6 pips for forex.

    • Commissions: Share dealing: £3 per trade, £10 minimum charge. CFD trading: £0.10 per share. Options: £10 per contract.

    • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£12 after 12 months), withdrawal fees (variable).

  • L2 Dealer – view market depth and liquidity

  • ProRealTime charting platform

  • Advanced order types (including OCO and trailing stops)

  • Trading API

  • Sentiment indicators

Plus 500 logo linking to review
4.5/5

TIC Score 4.5/5

Plus500 - Great for Analytic tools 

Plus500 screen shot

Pros

Cons

80% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.8 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: No commissions.

  • Other fees: Overnight financing fee, There is a charge on all trades on instruments denominated in a currency different from the currency of your account, and the percentage is up to 0.7%

  • Web-based platform with basic technical analysis tools

  • Guaranteed stop-loss orders

  • Trailing stop-loss orders

  • Economic calendar and news feed

Pepperstone Logo Blue and White linking to Pepperstone homepage
4/5

TIC Score 4/5

Pepperstone - Best for a range of platforms

Pepperstone screen sot of home page demonstrating fx capabilities

Pros

Cons

81.7% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.0 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: £8 per lot for DMA stocks, £0.50 per share for CFDs.

  • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£10 after 12 months), withdrawal fees (variable)

  • cTrader platform (known for advanced features)

  • MT4 and MT5 platforms

  • Smart Trader tools (auto trading, algo trading)

  • Tick charts and advanced analysis tools

  • VPS hosting

city index logo
3.5/5

TIC Score 3.5/5

City Index - All round strong trading platform

city index home page showcasing trading abilities and features

Pros

Cons

81% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.6 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: Share dealing: £3 per trade, £10 minimum charge. CFD trading: £0.10 per share. Options: £10 per contract.

  • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£10 after 12 months), withdrawal fees (variable).

  • AdvancedTrader platform (powerful platform)

  • Web-based platform (basic platform)

  • Guaranteed stop-loss orders

  • Trailing stop-loss orders

  • Economic calendar and news feed

xtb logo
3.5/5

TIC Score 3.5/5

XTB - Unique Trading Platform features

XTB home page showcasing trading platform features for forex

Pros

Cons

81% 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.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.6 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: Share CFDs: £0.02 per share.

  • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£10 after 12 months), withdrawal fees (variable).

  • xStation 5 platform (advanced platform)

  • Web-based platform (basic platform)

  • Advanced order types (including OCO and trailing stops)

  • Algorithmic trading capabilities

  • Economic calendar and news feed

cmc markets logo
4/5

TIC Score 4/5

CMC Markets -Access to great trading assets

cmc markets home page shoing different investment and trading facilities

CMC Markets excels in providing day traders with an expansive selection of trading opportunities, complemented by competitive pricing and advanced analytical tools.

Pros

Cons

81% 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.

CMC Markets’ commitment to offering a broad range of trading instruments, combined with its focus on competitive pricing and comprehensive analytical tools, solidifies its position as a preferred choice for day traders. While the platform’s complexity and potential additional fees warrant consideration, its overall offering remains attractive for those seeking a dynamic and enriched trading experience.

  • Spread: Varies depending on asset and account type. Starts from 0.6 pips for forex.

  • Commissions: Share dealing: £3 per trade, £10 minimum charge. CFD trading: £0.10 per share. Options: £10 per contract.

  • Other fees: Inactivity fee (£12 after 12 months), withdrawal fees (variable).

  • NextGen platform (advanced platform)

  • Web-based platform (basic platform)

  • Advanced order types (including OCO and trailing stops)

  • Market data and news feed

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Day Trader

1. Understanding Market Dynamics

The first step in your day trading journey is to gain a solid understanding of market dynamics. This includes familiarizing yourself with how different markets operate, the factors that influence price movements, and the timing of market fluctuations. Start by focusing on one or two markets, such as the stock market or forex, and learn as much as you can about them. Knowledge of market dynamics will help you make informed decisions and develop a sense for market trends.

2. Selecting Your Day Trading Strategies

Day trading involves various strategies, each with its unique approach and risk level. Some popular strategies include scalping, momentum trading, and swing trading. Experiment with different strategies in a demo account to find the one that suits your risk tolerance and trading style best. Remember, a strategy that works for one trader might not work for another, so it’s essential to choose a strategy that aligns with your personal goals and preferences.

3. Leveraging Technical & Fundamental Analysis

To make informed trading decisions, you need to leverage both technical and fundamental analysis. Technical analysis involves studying price charts and using indicators to predict future movements. In contrast, fundamental analysis looks at economic indicators, company earnings, and news events to gauge the market’s direction. Combining these analyses can provide a more comprehensive view of the market, helping you to identify high-probability trading opportunities.

4. Identifying the Best Trading Platform for You

The trading platform you choose plays a critical role in your day trading success. Look for a platform that is user-friendly, offers fast execution speeds, and provides access to the markets you’re interested in trading. Many platforms also offer tools for analysis, which can be invaluable. Consider platforms like Plus500, eToro, or Saxo Bank, which are known for their robust features and reliability. Most importantly, ensure the platform is regulated by a reputable authority to guarantee your funds’ safety.

5. Adhering to Day Trading Rules

Finally, successful day trading requires discipline and a strict adherence to trading rules. Develop a full day trading legal plan that outlines your strategy, risk management rules, and profit targets. Stick to this plan religiously and avoid letting emotions drive your trading decisions. Additionally, stay informed about regulatory requirements and ensure you comply with any rules and restrictions that apply to day trading in the UK.

By following these steps and committing to continuous learning and improvement, you can navigate the day trading landscape more effectively and increase your chances of success. Remember, day trading is not a guaranteed path to wealth, and it comes with significant risks. However, with dedication, discipline, and a strategic approach, it can be a rewarding endeavor.

Graph showing buy and sell points for a day trader
Buy & Sell Points For A Day Trader

Top Markets for Day Trading in the UK Explained

1. Exploring the Stock Market for Day Trading

The stock market is a popular choice for day traders due to its vast array of trading opportunities. It encompasses a wide range of sectors and allows traders to speculate on the price movements of individual companies. The key to success in stock market day trading lies in understanding company fundamentals, market trends, and how external factors like economic indicators and political events might affect stock prices. Volatility in the stock market, while presenting higher risk, also opens the door to significant profit opportunities for those who can adeptly navigate these fluctuations.

2. Navigating the Forex Market for Day Traders

The Forex market, known for its high liquidity and 24-hour trading cycle, is ideal for day traders looking for flexibility. It involves trading currency pairs, such as GBP/USD or EUR/GBP, and benefits from the ability to trade on leverage, which can amplify both gains and losses. Successful forex trading demands a good grasp of currency fundamentals, global economic indicators, and geopolitical events that can influence currency values. The forex market’s global nature means it offers continuous trading opportunities, allowing traders to react swiftly to international news and economic developments.

3. Capitalising on Opportunities in the Derivatives Market

Derivatives markets, including options and futures, provide day traders with the potential to profit from price movements without owning the underlying asset. These markets are attractive for their leverage potential and the variety of strategies traders can employ, such as hedging against price movements in other investments. Derivatives trading requires an understanding of complex products and the risks involved, including the potential for rapid losses. However, for knowledgeable traders, the derivatives market offers substantial opportunities for profit, especially in short-term trading scenarios where volatility can be leveraged to the trader’s advantage.

Each of these markets has its own set of characteristics, risks, and rewards. Day traders should carefully consider their individual trading style, risk tolerance, and the amount of time they can dedicate to monitoring the markets when deciding which market best suits their objectives. Diversifying across different markets can also help spread risk, but traders must ensure they have the necessary knowledge and tools to manage their trades effectively across multiple platforms. With the right approach and continuous learning, day traders can find success in these dynamic trading environments.

Effective Day Trading Strategies

1. Mastering News Trading

News trading involves capitalizing on market movements that follow news releases, economic data, and corporate announcements.

  • Key Points:

    • Stay updated with financial news calendars.

    • Understand the impact of high-impact news on market volatility.

    • Practice quick decision-making to take advantage of short-term price movements.

2. Understanding Swing Trading

Swing trading is about capturing gains in a stock or any financial instrument over a few days to several weeks.

  • Key Points:

    • Identify stocks with volatility and liquidity.

    • Use technical analysis to find entry and exit points.

    • Be patient; swing trading doesn’t require daily trades.

3. Implementing Momentum (Trend) Trading

Momentum traders focus on stocks moving significantly in one direction on high volume.

  • Key Points:

    • Look for strong market trends and ride them until they show signs of reversal.

    • Utilize momentum indicators like MACD, RSI, and Stochastic Oscillator.

    • Pay attention to news that might affect the momentum of your chosen market.

4. Analysing Money Flow for Day Trading

Money flow analysis involves assessing the buying and selling pressure on a stock to predict future price movements.

  • Key Points:

    • Use tools like the Money Flow Index (MFI) to gauge the strength of money flowing in or out of a stock.

    • Combine money flow analysis with other indicators for a comprehensive view.

    • Look for divergences between price and money flow to identify potential reversal points.

5. Applying Mean Reversion Strategies

Mean reversion is based on the theory that prices and returns eventually move back towards the mean or average.

  • Key Points:

    • Identify assets that have deviated significantly from their historical average.

    • Use statistical measures like the Bollinger Bands to find overbought or oversold conditions.

    • Be cautious of false signals and ensure proper risk management to protect your trades.

By mastering these strategies and incorporating them into your trading plan, you can enhance your day trading approach. Remember, the key to successful trading lies not only in the strategy itself but also in disciplined risk management, continuous learning, and adapting to changing market conditions.

Essential Day Trading Terminology

Before embarking on the day trading journey, it’s imperative to familiarise oneself with the lingo. Terms like “bid” and “ask” represent the prices available for selling and buying assets, respectively. “Spread” refers to the difference between these two prices, a critical factor in the profitability of day trades. “Leverage” allows traders to amplify their trading capacity, potentially increasing gains but also escalating risks. Understanding these terms lays the groundwork for navigating the markets more effectively.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Day Trading

visualizing the concept of the "best day trading platform in the UK," featuring a modern trading interface with London landmarks in the background
Graph trending downwards

Benefits of Day Trading in the UK

Day trading offers the tantalizing prospect of substantial profits over a short period, appealing to those with a keen sense of market trends and the ability to act swiftly on them. It provides unparalleled flexibility, enabling traders to operate on their own terms, without the commitment required by more traditional investment strategies. Moreover, the UK’s sophisticated financial infrastructure and regulatory environment offer a secure and efficient framework for day trading activities.

Challenges of Day Trading in the UK

However, the path of a day trader is fraught with challenges. The volatile nature of markets can turn investments sour in a matter of minutes, highlighting the high-risk nature of this strategy. The psychological strain of constant decision-making under pressure can be daunting, requiring a mindset that not all investors possess. Furthermore, the competitive landscape means that staying ahead requires continuous learning and adaptation.

Understanding Day Trading Costs

The financial implications of day trading extend beyond potential profits and losses from trades. Commission fees, although relatively lower in recent years, can accumulate quickly with the high volume of transactions typical of day trading. Spread costs also take a toll on profitability, especially in less liquid markets. Additionally, the possibility of overnight financing fees for positions held open beyond the trading day underscores the importance of meticulous financial planning and strategy.

In conclusion, day trading in the UK presents a dynamic and potentially rewarding opportunity for those equipped with the knowledge, skills, and temperament to navigate its complexities. As with any financial endeavor, success in day trading is contingent upon a comprehensive understanding of its mechanisms, a realistic appraisal of its challenges, and a diligent approach to managing its costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

A trading platform enhances your day trading strategy by offering advanced trading tools, real-time market data, and analytical capabilities, enabling you to make informed decisions and execute trades more efficiently.

When choosing a trading account for day trading or custody fees, consider factors such as low trading fees, access to a wide range of financial instruments, and the availability of advanced trading tools to support your trading strategy.

Trading fees can significantly impact your day trading profits, as frequent trades can accumulate high costs. Selecting a free trading platform with low trading fees is crucial to maximizing your returns.

Access to foreign exchange markets is important for a day trading platform as it offers day traders the opportunity to trade currency pairs, capitalise on market volatility, and diversify their trading strategies across global markets.

References:

1 – Day Trading: The Basics And How To Get Started – Investopedia

2 – 7 Best Indicators for Day Trading  – City Index

3 – Stock Market Trading Hours – CMC Markets

4 – Restricting Contract For Difference Products Sold To Retail Clients – FCA

5 – Top Financial Markets To Trade In 2024 – Admirals

6 – 14 Day Trading Strategies for Beginners – Go Banking Rates

7 – Glossary of trading terms – IG

8 – Brokerage Fees and Investment Commissions Explained – Nerd Wallet

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