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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 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.

How to find the best platform for day traders in the UK
How to find the best platform for day traders in the UK

How to find the best platform for day traders in the UK

Most people do a thorough research when searching for a good online broker, but not be sure how to locate the best day trading platform. Learn how to search and find the best day trading platform in the UK.

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening an account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening an account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

What’s a day trading platform?

A day trading platform is the technology used to facilitate the trade of financial instruments, enabling positions to be opened and closed within a single day. This trading style is not suitable for people seeking to trade or invest in the longer term.

When trading with us, a fee will be charged to your account for keeping your intraday trade open until the following day.

Note that there’s a difference between an online broker and a trading platform. An online broker provides the platform, while the platform facilitates the trading activity on the financial markets. An online broker like us enables you to open a brokerage account for trading or investing securities in the financial markets.

Our day trading platform will enable you to trade using two popular derivative products – spread bets and CFDs. Derivatives are leveraged products, meaning you’ll amplify your exposure on the markets. Leverage will magnify profits and losses you make on your day trade – manage your risk carefully.

Alternatively, you could open an intraday position without leverage by dealing shares. But this will offer you decreased assets and market exposure, plus you’d need some assurance that there’d be sufficient market movement in the day.

How to find the best day trading platform in the UK

To find the best day trading platform in the UK, there are several things to take into consideration. These include your experience as a trader, trading goals, the types of assets you’d like to trade, costs and charges involved and the type of support you’ll be offered.

1. Consider your experience and trading goals

Taking your experience and trading goals into consideration when venturing into day trading will enable you to have clear goals in mind. This will ensure you put in the time to practise and fine-tune your trading style and strategy before you open your first position.

You can use fundamental analysis as part of your trading style or plan to predict market price movements and use technical indicators for your strategy. Your strategy is determined by your preference and your level of risk you’re willing to be exposed to when trading the markets.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll need to choose the trading strategy that suits your preferences. For example, if you choose to use scalping as your day trading strategy, you’d make lots of small trades of the asset you’re trading with the aim of profiting from the little price changes.

Once you’ve chosen your scalping strategy, ensure that you diligently stick to it as one impromptu move may lead to trade that results in a huge loss. Your aim is to make a series of small wins from your trade and benefit from them instead on a few large ones.

You can learn more about trading strategies by visiting out Analyse and learn section on the website or IG Academy. You can also try out these trading strategies by opening a demo account with us and practice with £10,000 virtual funds in a risk-free real-world environment. Once you have gained your confidence as a trader, you can open a live account with us.

2. Learn key day trading concepts

There are some essential day trading concepts you’ll need to educate yourself on when it comes to the financial markets:

  • Volatility – intraday trading will require that you have the ability to identify if the market price has sufficient movement to present profit-making opportunities. This is known as ‘volatility’, which measures how much an asset’s price moves over a period of time
  • Liquidity – this describes how easy it would be to open or close a position in the markets without the asset’s price being affected. A rising demand for an asset increases its liquidity, meaning you can take or close positions at the price you want. With us, you’ll get deep internal liquidity, giving you access to several buyers and sellers, which will assist with the quick execution on your trade
  • Volume – this provides details on the number of times an asset has been traded over a certain timeframe and is a key indicator of the market’s liquidity. You can trade volumes as a strategy to identify entry and exit points in the markets. For instance, a rise in volume when there’s a sharp movement in the market is indicative of the market maintaining that direction in the future

3. Find out about day trading products and assets

Spread bets and CFDs are the two main day trading products used in the UK. These are leveraged products that will increase your market exposure at a fraction of the full value of your trade. But while they’ll magnify your profits when the markets move in your favour, they’ll amplify your losses if they move against you.

Carefully manage your risk and only trade using an amount you’re comfortable losing. There are over 17,000 markets you can trade with both spread bets and CFDs.

Most popular markets to day trade with us

These are the four assets that are most popular among our traders:

  • Stock market indices – these indices track the performance of company stocks within the financial markets. Indices trading is popular highly liquid and will enable you to support your judgement based on the stock market’s historical data. Note that past performance doesn’t guarantee future outcomes
  • Shares – you’ll trade shares of individual stocks. If you decide to venture into day trading on stocks, you must be wary about the liquidity and volatility of shares in the financial market. For instance, trading an entire index will include all the shares within it (the index), meaning trading individual stocks is likely to carry more risk. It’s important to perform solid fundamental and technical analysis before you invest in or trade company shares
  • Forex – this market will enable you to trade currencies. When trading forex, you’ll always be trading a currency pair. For example, GBP/USD measures the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar. You’ll either take a position on the pound increasing against the dollar, or the dollar increasing against the pound. Forex is the largest and most liquid market in the world with trillions of trades taking place per day
  • Commodities – you can also trade on raw physical commodities such as oil and gold. When you speculate on the price movement of the underlying asset, you’ll do this at a fraction of the full value of the physical commodity. But you won’t take physical ownership of the commodity

These four popular markets are not an exhaustive list. With us, you can also trade ETFs, interest rates, bonds and many more. When trading with us, you’ll get access to key indices and forex pairs 24/7, including at the weekend. You’ll also have exposure to trading US stocks out-of-hours. Other online brokers might not offer you the same access to extended hours on their day trading platforms.

4. Compare day trading brokers’ costs and fees

There are costs and fees associated with day trading platforms. It’s important to compare these to determine how much the overall cost of your trade will be. An online brokerage like us will provide a full disclosure of the costs and charges associated with your day trade.

Some of the costs and charges you can expect to incur when day trading with us will include the spread. Overnight fees are charged when you keep your position on the spot markets open until the following day. Note that overnight fees are not applicable when open positions on futures and options are not closed on the same day since these have a set expiry date.

5. Day trading platform features to look out for

Our day trading platform offers these features and tools:

  • Execution speed. The speed at which the platform executes your trade is essential, especially since markets operate in real-time. When trading with us, you’ll get access to a platform that has the best execution at 0.014-second speed
  • Deep liquidity. Your aim should be to find a platform that makes it easy to open and close a position at market price. The platform should also enable you to buy and sell without having a negative impact on the price of the asset you’re trading. You’ll have access to deep liquidity with numerous buyers and sellers available on the financial markets when you trade with us
  • Order fill. Your broker’s platform should have the capacity to successfully complete executing your order to trade assets. This is provided the asset hasn’t reached its expiry, there’s sufficient trading volumes on the market and it’s within trading hours. We’ll offer you the best order fill with over 99% of orders being filled at the requested price2
  • Proactive. The best trading platform will send you trading alerts when, for instance, your trade reaches the price levels you’ve set. You can also view charts with indicators showing market price movements in real-time. With a trading platform like ours, you can set up trading signals via Signal Centre and Autochartist and receive actionable signals for buying and selling
  • Engaging. It’ll also enable you to take control of your trading by enabling you to set stops and limits, including guaranteed stops on your open position to prevent losing more money than you bargained for. This is what you can achieve when trading on our trading platform
  • Real-time interaction. The trading platform you choose should market events in real-time and feed back to its users so they can make trades synonymous to what’s happening on the ground. With us, you’ll receive in-platform news, videos, analyst recommendations and social media for instant reaction to the markets

6. Find out how easy it is to deposit and withdraw money

With us, you can deposit funds into your account and withdraw as you wish – for free. You also don’t need a minimum deposit to start trading on your open account. This isn’t always the case with other online brokers – always do your due diligence.

You can deposit funds at a click of the ‘add funds’ button via our web trading platform or mobile app. You’ll then choose the payment method of your choice. Funds can be deposited using a credit card, debit card, PayPal account or bank transfer in your name – no third-party funds will be accepted.

There’s no minimum or maximum deposit amount when making bank transfers. A minimum of £250 is required to be deposited into your share dealing or trading account when depositing via a credit or debit card and PayPal. Once there are funds in your account, you can start opening positions on your open share dealing, spread betting and or CFD trading accounts.

7. Check out the broker’s customer support

With us, you’ll have a responsive customer support team based in the UK to field your queries. Our client services team is available to give you a one-on-one walk through our platform to set up your account, if you need it.

We also have 24-hour live support to ask trading experts for assistance. You can reach us either via phone call, email or Twitter from 8am on Saturdays to 10pm on Fridays (UK time).

8. Learn about the broker’s day trading platforms

Familiarise yourself with your online broker’s day trading platform to determine if it suits your needs as a trader. Some brokers might offer a web platform or only synchronise with third-party tools like MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

With our award-winning platform, you can access and place your day trade via our web or mobile app.1 You’ll also get exclusive access to the these third-party platforms – L2 Dealer, DMA platform, ProRealTime and MT4.

Compare day trading brokers in the UK

See how we compare to our competitors:

IG eToro Plus500 CMC Markets City Index
Day trading accounts

Spread betting, CFD trading, also share dealing

CFD trading, also share dealing CFD trading only Spread betting and CFD trading Spread betting and CFD trading
Assets and markets to trade Over 17,000 markets Over 2000 markets Over 2000 markets Over 11,000 markets Over 13,000 markets
Extended hours trading 24/7 trading on major indices and FX pairs, plus after hours trading on US stocks None None None After hours trading on US stocks
Minimum deposit £0 $10 £100 £0 £0
Free withdrawals Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Trading signals Yes No No No Yes
Real-time news Yes No No Yes Yes
HQ UK Israel Israel UK UK
Customer service 24/7 telephone support in the UK, plus 24/7 email and Twitter support Live chat or email support, Monday to Friday. No telephone support 24/7 email, live chat and WhatsApp. No telephone support Telephone or email support, Monday to Friday Telephone, email and live chat support, Monday to Friday
Platforms to day trade on Web, app, L2 Dealer (DMA), MT4, ProRealTime Web and app only Web and app only Web, app, MT4 Web, app, MT4

What’s the best day trading platform and broker for you?

There are various aspects to take into consideration when choosing a day trading account and online broker like us. An online broker like us facilitates the trades in the financial market, while a day trading platform is the technology used to facilitate the buying and selling of those assets.

When you choose an online broker, you’ll consider the type of trading accounts you like to use, markets and assets you’d like to trade, costs and charges of your trade. When choosing an online trading platform, you might find it useful to consider the ease of trade when using the technology and the overall customer experience.

Trade with the UK’s top trading platform1

  • Trade with us, the best online trading provider in the UK1
  • Deal on our award-winning platform and mobile app1
  • Receive a one-on-one walk through when opening an account with us and access to 24/7 telephonic support from the UK service desk
  • Get exposure to 17,000+ markets that include indices, shares, forex, commodities and more. No other online broker offers more markets than us
  • Get access to markets out-of-hours and on weekends, which enables you to trade for longer (not available on all markets). We have the longest trading hours available

Make use of our educational tools

  • Enhance your trading knowledge using free training material on IG Academy
  • Open a demo account to put your theoretical knowledge into practise with virtual funds in a risk-free environment
  • Get access to IG Live to receive the latest market news and analysis from our industry experts
  • Be part of the peer-learning experience through our community forum with more than 64,000 members

How to start day trading with us

  1. Fill in a form. We’ll ask you a few questions about your trading knowledge. This will ensure that we give you the best experience on our platform
  2. Get verification. We’ll usually be able to verify you immediately
  3. Fund your account and start trading. Once you’ve deposited money into your account, you’ll be able to start trading. You can withdraw money from your account as and when you wish – for free

FAQs

What are the legal and tax rules around day trading in the UK?

The UK doesn’t have any specific rules around day trading like the Pattern Day Trader Rule in the US. But it’s still important to remember that day trading requires time and commitment, and trading on leverage is risky.

Ensure you understand how leveraged products like spread bets and CFDs are taxed in the UK before trading with them. For instance, when trading with spread bets, it’s tax-free.3 However, when trading CFDs you’ll be liable to pay capital gains tax,3 but these can be used to offset losses – this isn’t possible with spread bets.

How much money do you need to start day trading?

With us, you won’t be required to have a minimum deposit to start day trading. But, if you’re trading leveraged products, ensure you understand how they work and use our risk management tools. You’ll need to deposit enough funds in your account in case the market turns against you once you open your trade.

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Trade or invest with us, the UK’s No1. platform

1 Awarded ‘best finance app’, ‘best multi-platform provider’ and ‘best platform for active traders’ at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2022.
2 Based on IG Group's OTC data for April – June 2022.
3 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.