- Flat fee brokers / platforms
- Get to know how online trading works
- Vanguard investment platform: is it cheapest? Fees, funds and more
- Percentage fee brokers / platforms
- Vanguard trading platform uk
- Buying & selling mutual funds
- What is an investment tracker fund?
- Share dealing brokers
- Who is this online broker comparison table aimed at?
- Vanguard Investor UK review – is it the best in the market?
- Where is my missing broker?
- Putting money in your account
- More on costs and fees
- Understanding account names
- How to invest in Vanguard funds
- How To Choose an Investment Platform UK
- Why are there only links to some brokers?
- What this table won’t tell you
- More top stories
Last updated on 30 August 2019.
Behold! An at-a-glance cost comparison of the UK’s main online brokers and investment platforms. These services enable you to buy, manage, and sell your funds, shares, investment trusts and ETFs at a cheap price. All these services are online and execution-only.
The Good for column shows what we think is the best deal by price, relative to account type and portfolio mix.1
This table is edited by fallible human beings.
Do your own research. We fix mistakes as soon as possible but we cannot be held liable or accountable for any errors. Please add updates or erratas in the comments below.
Like other price comparison websites, we may be paid a bonus if you sign-up via a link. This does not affect what you pay.
Flat fee brokers / platforms
Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT.
Vanguard investment platform: is it cheapest? Fees, funds and more
*A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table. N.B. Accounts held with Halifax / Bank Of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, and iWeb count as one for the purposes of the FSCS compensation scheme.
Percentage fee brokers / platforms
Note: Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually.
We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT. *A frequent trader rate or bonus is also available. Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table.
Share dealing brokers
|Company||Annual platform fee||Fee notes||Dealing:|
|Dealing: ETFs, ITs, & shares||Regular investing||Entry fee||Exit fee28||Good for|
|Degiro||£0||Degiro may lend out your shares.
A custody account avoids this but charges €1 + 3% (max 10%) for dividend payouts29
|n/a||Some commission-free ETFs.30 €2 + 0.038% for other ETFs. £1.75 + 0.022% for shares31||–||€10 per holding||€10 per holding||Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders|
|Freetrade||–||Smartphone app only.|
Restricted list of ETFs
|n/a||£0 for fixed daily time, £1 to trade at other times||–||–||£0||Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders|
|X-O.co.uk||–||No funds||n/a||£5.95||–||–||£18 per holding||–|
|Shares ISA||–||–||–||–||–||–||+ £60 account closure||–|
|SIPP||£118.80||No fee for first year.
+ £180 p.a. in drawdown
|IG||–||Funds in SIPP only.|
Only one fee for ISA and trading account
|Shares ISA||£96||£24 waived quarterly by 3+ trades a quarter in trading account32||–||–||–||–||£0||–|
|SIPP||£200 + 0.18% on first £500,000 of funds||Tiered charge.
0.15% £500,001 – £1 million, 0.05% over £1 million. + £150 p.a. in drawdown
|Interactive Brokers||$10 inactivity fee per month.
Reduced by value of trades33
|$20 inactivity fee per month if equity balance below $2,00034||n/a||£635||–||–||–||International shares / ETFs|
|Trading 212||£0||Restricted list of ETFs||n/a||£0||–||–||£0||Commission-free ETF range, frequent traders|
Note: Commission-free brokers generally make money from spreads, foreign exchange fees and cross-selling of other services.
Charges may actually be due per month, quarter, six monthly or annually. We’ve chosen to show annual cost of service. All prices include VAT.
Other charges may be applicable that aren’t included in the table.
Who is this online broker comparison table aimed at?
We have focussed on low cost platforms that suit DIY investors who want to build a diversified portfolio through index funds and ETFs. The Good for column is therefore aimed at passive investors.
Percentage fee brokers are much better for small investors whose assets are likely to remain below £25,000 (in an ISA) or £100,000 (in a SIPP and depending on the mix of assets) for some time to come.
Vanguard Investor UK review – is it the best in the market?
If you can only invest small amounts at a time then choose a broker who charges £0 for fund dealing. (Aim to pay no more than 0.5% of your contribution in dealing costs, at the very most).
Fixed fees take a disproportionate chunk out of the assets of small investors.
This is why Vanguard Investor or Cavendish Online are generally the best for small investors using ISAs and Cavendish Online is best for small investors using SIPPs.
Flat fee brokers are better for most investors who’ve accumulated over £25,000 (in an ISA) or £100,000 (in a SIPP and depending on the mix of assets) – percentage fees can siphon off eye-watering amounts if your broker doesn’t apply a cap.
Sadly, the table is complicated because every broker is trying to carve out a niche for itself by offering something slightly different to its competitors.
That means there is no one size fits all solution. The Good for column in the table gives you an idea of each broker’s strengths.
Our calculations assume one purchase per month and four sales per year, and that you take advantage of lower priced regular investment schemes when available.
Portfolios consist of funds or ETFs or a 50:50 mix.
ETFs vs fund portfolios – Below around £25,000 you’re probably better off with funds. There’s very little to separate Interactive Investor, Halifax, Lloyds, iWeb, YouInvest, Selftrade and Share Centre above that level if you’re a moderate trader using either product type.
Ultimately, product OCFs, your trading frequency and picking the right tracker for the job will be more important.
Beginners starting in funds should look at Vanguard Investor or Cavendish Online.
Low traders – check iWeb and Halifax for ISAs.
Whichever broker you plump for, do check it carries the funds you require.
There is considerable variation in range between platforms.
Where is my missing broker?
We haven’t included every last option in this version of our table but we have included the most competitive players in the market.
Putting money in your account
Do let us know if you think we’ve missed anyone important.
More on costs and fees
The ‘Platform charge’ category is intended to capture the various types of service fee typically levied by platforms i.e.
custody fee, platform charge, administration fee, inactivity fee and so on until the end of time / your tether.
Assume platform charges are levied per account unless otherwise indicated in the notes column or the footnotes.
Platforms levy various additional costs for extras such as telephone trading.
Check a platform’s rates and charges schedule before committing.
These costs are on top of the suite of fees you will pay for investment products such as the Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF).
Take some time to calculate the likely cost of your portfolio when choosing the right broker.
SIPP charges on the table don’t include all the various additional fees levied for services once you’re in drawdown.
The drawdown figure we do include is the annual ongoing charge you’ll pay for being in flexi-access drawdown.
Platforms run temporary offers and discounts from time-to-time. These are ignored as investing is for the long-term.
Understanding account names
Accounts names vary across the online broker universe.
How to invest in Vanguard funds
However they typically conform to the following types:
- Trading = a taxable account i.e. it’s not not an ISA or a SIPP and will incur dividend income tax and capital gains tax if it grows large enough.
Suitable investments typically include funds, shares, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Investment Trusts (ITs), bonds and more.
- Shares ISA = Stocks and Shares ISA. Tax sheltered.
How To Choose an Investment Platform UK
Suitable investments as above.
- SIPP = Self-Invested Personal Pension. Tax sheltered. Suitable investments as above.
Why are there only links to some brokers?
Links to brokers are affiliate links, where we may be paid a fee if you go on to open an account with them. We do not choose to include brokers in our table based on whether such affiliate fees are on offer, nor does the existence of such an arrangement change the fees you pay – it is a marketing payment made by them as an incentive for websites to drive traffic to their site.
We’d like more brokers to pay us when we introduce new customers – it helps us pay our way on Monevator! Including all brokers but only linking where an affiliate agreement is in place was the best compromise we could come up with.
What this table won’t tell you
Some of these brokers may not be regulated by the UK authorities.
Please check directly with each broker, and read our guide to investor compensation schemes to understand why this matters. Some broker brands are owned by the same financial group. You do not diversify your risk by splitting assets across brands owned by the same group.
More top stories
Our investor compensation scheme guide (linked to above) explains how you can identify these brands.
We’ve not considered customer service and fringe benefits such as website user experience and research tools, which may be meaningful. Ask away here or at Money Saving Expert’s Savings & Investments board, the ex-Motley Foolers on the Lemon Fool board, or reddit for a broader opinion.
We haven’t accounted for exclusive, discounted funds.
Most platforms stock much the same range but the bigger players in the market can negotiate slight fee discounts on certain funds. If you’re tempted by those ‘bargain’ offers then make very sure that your overall cost of investment isn’t more expensive once you load the platforms fees on top.
Please tell us about additions or corrections using the comment form below. Please supply a Web link to your data if possible in your comment to help us verify what should go into the table.
We’ll keep this table as up-to-date as possible, and conduct a sweeping review every three months.