Best Demo Trading Accounts UK

Antonia Medlicott

Many trading platforms offer demo accounts, allowing you to learn the basics of investing before you start trading with your own money. Read my guide to learn about the best demo trading accounts that you can use to practise investing with virtual funds.

Also consider: Best Commodity Trading Platform UK

10 Best demo trading accounts for July 2024

Browse my list of the best demo trading accounts for UK investors.

Best demo trading accounts at a glance

CMC Markets logo

CMC Markets

CMC Markets is a well-established contract for difference (CFD) and forex broker that started in 1989.

Its headquarters are in the UK, while it holds 15 offices internationally, and it enjoys full FCA regulation.

CMC Markets offer an unlimited demo account which is free to use for an unrestricted amount of time and grants you £10,000 in virtual funds. This could allow you to practise trading at your own pace and not feel rushed by any restriction on time.

They list major, minor, and emerging currencies to offer traders and investors a diverse choice of markets.

They also allow free access to its proprietary trading platform called “Next Generation”. Although this is a complex system that may be difficult for beginner traders, a free demo account is arguably the best place to learn since you incur no losses. At the same time, you have access to up to 30:1 leverage on your virtual funds.

CMC Markets provides useful customer service, including a live chatbot and telephone lines in operation 24 hours a day, five days a week.

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 spread betting and/or trading 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.

eToro

eToro

eToro is a large, multinational, online trading platform and broker founded in Israel in 2007.

It’s known as a popular and reputable provider of trading services and operates with full FCA regulation.

The platform is renowned for listing a wide range of assets, such as:

If you’re new to trading, or just want to sharpen your skills, eToro offers a free demo account that you could use. The account has an allowance of $100,000 in virtual funds which allows you to trade the markets without incurring any losses.

In addition to this, eToro charges no fees for the use of the demo account, nor does it charge fees on the trades you make in the demo mode.

Your demo account with eToro is also unlimited, which means there is no time limit and the account won’t expire. Feel free to trade your virtual funds without worrying about using them within a certain timeframe.

If you do happen to run out of virtual funds granted when you opened the account, it’s possible to request additional funds through their reliable customer service.

eToro demo trading accounts could be useful to start learning to trade as their layout is designed to resemble real, live trading accounts.

It is relatively easy to sign up to eToro and get access to a demo account with virtual funds – you can use your email address, or your Facebook or Google accounts.

Using the demo account shouldn’t be too much trouble as eToro offers both Android and iOS apps so you can trade with your mobile.

If you happen to move on to open a live account with eToro, note that its minimum deposit is $200.

51% 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. Your capital is at risk. Other fees apply. For more information, visit etoro.com/trading/fees

XTB Trading logo

XTB

XTB is an award-winning trading platform that has its headquarters in Poland.

It offers 48 currency pairs and 1,500 derivatives across markets that include:

MetaTrader 4 is offered by XTB, as well as xStation – this is a trading platform developed for XTB customers that has a solid reputation, many accolades, and impressive industry rankings. Beginners could take advantage of their virtual funds in order to expand their experience with different trading platforms.

A demo trading account with XTB is limited to four weeks, however, you receive up to $100,000 in virtual funds to practise with – significantly more than most other platforms.

In addition to this, you can also gain access to over 2,100 CFD markets, tights spread from 0.2 pips, and leverage up to 30:1.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs 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.

Pepperstone logo

Pepperstone

Pepperstone is a Melbourne-based trading platform that operates in various other countries, including the UK. The platform is fully compatible with UK standards and is FCA-regulated.

The demo trading account offered by Pepperstone gives users $50,000 of virtual funds and provides a 30-day time limit – although, this can be requested to be increased through customer service.

Demo accounts with Pepperstone allow the use of the following trading platforms:

In addition to these, Pepperstone demo accounts have access to various trading tools such as:

  • Technical indicators
  • Graphic tools (line drawing, tracing, shapes etc.)
  • Timeframes.

Users can access more than 60 currency pairs with fast execution speeds – 30 milliseconds on average – that can help to avoid slippage and benefit the accuracy of trades.

The demo account is easy to set up and provides access to environments similar to that of electronic communication network (ECN) trading – a computerised system that matches buyers to sellers in a given market.

It offers leverage up to 30:1 for retail traders in Europe, the UK, Australia, and Dubai.

Pepperstone is well known for its award-winning customer support that is partially comprised of traders, so you can get experienced assistance with any trouble you may run into.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.6% 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.

Plus500 logo

Plus500

Plus500 offers a substantial selection of 70 currency pairs and over 2,500 financial instruments which are all traded via CFDs .

Opening a demo trading account with Plus500 is completely free and has no hidden costs. In fact, you don’t need to provide any payment details to open the demo account – only an email address and password.

Every new customer, who registers for a demo account on the Plus500 platform, receives £40,000.00. Once the balance of the demo account drops to 200 EUR (or the equivalent currency amount) or below, the initial demo amount will be automatically reinstated by the system.

Since the demo trading account is intended to emulate the live trading format, it could be a way to learn the mechanics of trading.

Converting to a live account is a simple process that only requires a few additional personal details and verifying them. Plus500’s live accounts have a minimum deposit of $100 and offer a maximum leverage of 30:1.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs 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.

Forex.com logo

Forex.com

Forex.com is a trading platform founded in 2001 and is operated by Gain Capital Holdings which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Forex.com’s demo account offers users a 30-day trial with access to €10,000 in virtual funds. Compared to other platforms, these parameters are relatively low since a lot of competitors now offer an unlimited demo period with more virtual funds.

This doesn’t mean it isn’t worth using a forex demo account – it’s still free to use and it uses real features from live accounts for an effective introduction to trading the currency markets. In addition to this, you could get access to currency pairs or commodities unavailable elsewhere.

Forex.com offers access to hundreds of different markets. This includes:

The trading platform also boasts market-leading pricing with spreads from 0.8% and 3.33% margin, while listing over 80 currency pairs.

The format of its demo accounts is very similar to the live trading accounts they offer, allowing the use of real features and making it easier to get the gist of real trading.

As well as this, the platform provides research materials in addition to free educational courses covering various skill levels, meaning it could be conducive to learning how to trade.

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 CFDs 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.

Oanda logo

OANDA

Providing a highly reputable option for investors seeking demo trading accounts, OANDA has existed since 1996 and operates under six different regulatory bodies, including the FCA in the UK.

The platform is available to use in 196 countries around the world with transparent services and competitive speeds.

OANDA has grown from, originally, only offering services to spot forex markets. However, it now lists over 124 trading instruments which shows its growth over the years.

Demo accounts offered by OANDA are totally unlimited – you have no time restrictions nor limits on the amount of virtual funds you can use. In fact, it gives you the ability to reset or adjust your starting balance of 100,000 units at any time. You can also change your leverage – within its permitted range – and profit and loss levels whenever you’d like.

This could give a significant amount of flexibility to investors and traders who wish to learn the art of trading without any restrictions.

In addition to this, OANDA allows access to MetaTrader 4 as well as proprietary desktop, mobile, and WebTrader trading platforms. This allows you to customise your trading experience and gather experience with different platforms.

76.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs 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

AXI logo

Axi

Founded in Sydney in 2007, Axi’s main goal is to deliver efficiency.

It was established under AxiCorp Financial Services and opened a UK AxiCorp office under the name AxiCorp Limited. This broker is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Demo accounts offered by Axi (or AxiTrader) aim to replicate live markets as closely as possible, giving traders a realistic insight into trading with real money.

You’ll have access to $50,000 of virtual funds when you open your demo trading account with AxiTrader. Additionally, you’re able to use real-time executions and spreads on the demo trades you make.

It only takes a few personal details to create a demo account and you’ll have access to the service for 30 days before your demo account expires.

Easymarkets logo

easyMarkets

Another great broker for trading on the MT5 platform is AvaTrade.

Unlike most of the brokers on this list, AvaTrade is not regulated in the UK by the FCA. Despite this, the maximum leverage you can make use of is still 30:1 if you’re using a retail investor account.

Compared to Admiral Markets, AvaTrade does have slightly lower minimum deposit requirements – you’ll only be asked to deposit £100 when you first open your account.

As for trading fees, AvaTrade is slightly higher than other brokers on this list, as you will typically be charged $8.90 for a week-long $20,000 position on the GBP/USD pair.

There are more than 55 currency pairs on AvaTrade, as well as just over 700 CFDs offered by the broker. While this may seem like a lower offering, this should still give you access to most major currency pairs and some of the most popular CFDs.

AvaTrade has also partnered with Trading Central, offering you access to an even greater level of technical analysis on your trades.

GO Markets logo

GO Markets

Founded in 2006, GO Markets is one of the most reputable forex platforms available in the UK.

It has its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and has other offices in the UK, China, and Hong Kong.

Although it has applied to cancel its FCA authorisation, it must still comply with these standards until its FCA status ceases. Despite this, it is regulated by four different authorities in other jurisdictions around the world.

GO Markets’ demo accounts allow users to trade with up to $50,000 in virtual funds and the markets display the same price feed as live markets – this means your cost-free, practise trades will be realistic and could benefit your learning.

It has received recognition for its quality of service – at the Global Forex Awards 2022, GO Markets was awarded Best Forex Fintech Broker Global, Most Trusted Broker EU, and Best Trading Support Asia.

The platform offers access to major currencies, including:

  • AUD
  • USD
  • GBP
  • EUR
  • NZD
  • CAD
  • SGD
  • CHF.

An interesting feature to GO Markets is that each client is assigned a manager who can be contacted for assistance, which may also aid your trading journey.

Setting up a demo account with GO Markets is easy and only requires you to complete a registration form.

What are demo trading accounts?

Demo trading accounts, although already popular, have become somewhat industry-standard.

They are risk-free accounts offered by trading platforms to provide a safe environment in which new investors can gain trading experience without using real money. Demo accounts can also be used by experienced traders looking to try new methods or systems of trading without the risk of losing money.

Users are given an allowance of virtual money to use like real money on the markets that the platforms list. The amount of virtual money offered by each platform varies, although the amount is usually in the tens of thousands.

Access to these accounts is often limited, meaning you normally only have a few weeks to use the services. However, as demo accounts have become an industry-standard in the online trading world, platforms have offered increasingly generous allowances of time and virtual funds.

This means you can often find a selection of platforms that offer an unlimited amount of virtual money and time to use the account.

Demo accounts can be useful for anyone who is new to investing and would like to trade without using real money. They offer a more comfortable introduction to trading than going into live markets with no experience – this could carry great risk for novices as it is possible to lose money rapidly if you’re not confident in what you’re doing.

The accounts often allow access to different technical indicators, instruments, and markets that could allow traders to become accustomed to various aspects of trading financial markets.

If you’re considering opening a trading account, it could be worth checking if they offer a demo account where you can familiarise yourself with its functions before exposing your own funds.

Are there any demo trading accounts UK?

Many trading platforms offer demo accounts that are available in the UK and can introduce new investors to trading without the risk of losing money.

Forex demo accounts are widely available as a result of the popularity of forex trading.

Nowadays, platforms offer access to many different markets in one place. So, some of the best forex demo accounts may be with providers that also list other financial markets, or ones that don’t necessarily specialise in trading forex.

For instance, eToro is one of the online brokers available in the UK that gives retail investor accounts access to forex markets as well as trading stocks, and more. This means that users have the ability to trade stocks and shares as well the forex market.

Why do I trade better on a demo trading account?

Demo trading accounts incur absolutely no risk since the funds are strictly virtual. This means the trades you take in demo mode are purely hypothetical and you receive no gains for winning trades. Likewise, you incur no losses for losing trades.

Because of the absence of risk, you may be subconsciously (or consciously) aware of this while you perform trades. As a result, this could lead you to undertake a different method of trading.

One way this could happen is by you exposing yourself to greater risk with your trades – like using higher leverage, for example. During such a trade, your returns may be greater than usual.

In reality, you may just have the same ratio of return as your usual trades with lower leverage. Only, the higher leverage makes the trade seem more successful than it was.

On the other hand, you may be using demo trading accounts to practise different trading strategies, like stricter risk management. In this case, you may be completing a higher number of successful trades.

Usually, disparities are a result of using unfamiliar risk management as well as an inaccurate perception of profit ratios.

You should be aware that, when using leverage for forex trading in live markets, it’s common that retail investor accounts lose money rapidly.

Are demo trading accounts accurate?

Some demo trading accounts may set up hypothetical scenarios for investors, whereas others allow you to trade on live financial markets with virtual money.

Despite this, demo trading accounts are indeed accurate – in terms of measuring your performance as well as representing market prices.

Because of their accuracy when emulating live markets, demo trading accounts could be a useful way to gain experience in trading and using investment instruments.

Some of the best demo accounts to aid learning may have realistic features of a live trading account. In fact, a lot of platforms specifically design their demo accounts in order to replicate their live versions – from appearance to technical features – which can provide a further degree of accuracy.

Pros and cons of demo trading accounts

Pros

  • You can sharpen your trading skills

With free demo accounts, you’re able to take advantage of a large amount of virtual funds in order to practise trading. This could mean trying new trading strategies or just getting to grips with the basics with a larger sum than you might have to invest yourself.

  • Learn without the pressure of risk

The trades within a demo account are risk-free. So, you should consider taking the time to use this safety to learn as much as you can. Perhaps, you could experiment with features you wouldn’t normally use, like higher leverage.

  • Introduce yourself to new markets

Demo accounts normally have access to a similar range of markets as the live version, depending on the platform. Because of this, you can familiarise yourself with these when you may not have been able to beforehand.

  • Successful trading can build your confidence

Trading can be difficult. So, seeing profitable trades you made in demo mode could help to boost your confidence more effectively than other methods of learning.

  • Usually a quick and easy sign-up process

A minimal amount of personal details are usually required in order to open an account. More importantly, you shouldn’t have to fill in any bank or payment details. So, it’s nice and simple for investors who want to start their trading journey.

Cons

  • Any gains aren’t real

If you make any successful trades that could have generated profit, these will never be genuine profits since you are using virtual funds. However, this also means that your losing trades incur no real losses.

  • Some platforms may have short periods of access

Depending on which platform you use, you may be given a short amount of time to enjoy risk-free trading in demo mode. You may want to consider seeking out providers that offer longer, or even unlimited, demo periods. Alternatively, you could choose to open multiple demo accounts with different providers to maximise your virtual trading time.

  • Getting used to no slippage

Sometimes, demo accounts execute trades without wider market effects impacting the execution price of a trade. When the execution price is indeed affected after you’ve placed a trade, this is called “slippage”. If new traders become too accustomed to the absence of slippage, it could make trading live markets much harder when doing it for real.

Best Demo Trading Accounts UK FAQs

Are demo trading accounts risky?

Demo trading accounts are generally considered a safe, risk-free way to practise trading various financial markets such as stocks and shares, forex, commodities and ETFs. All money in a demo account is entirely virtual.

Can I make money with demo trading accounts?

No, demo trading accounts will not give you real returns on your money. Neither will they result in you losing money.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.

You should note that trading CFDs often leads to a majority of retail investor accounts losing money rapidly.

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*Capital at risk