Our comparison of Forex Demo Trading Account Brokers for UK based traders is based on 7 factors including regulation of the broker, trading fees, features available in the platforms & customer support.
Demo Accounts are an important part of trading. They are a risk-free way of practicing trading & and you can open a demo account within a few minutes by registering with a forex broker.
Both beginners and experienced traders can find demo accounts useful.
If you are a beginner, you need a demo account to get acquainted with live market conditions, trading fees, and your trading platform. It will also help you see how profitable your trading strategy is and the risks that come with it.
If you are an experienced trader, you will definitely be developing new strategies. A demo account will help you to test out what works and what does not.
All forex brokers offer a demo account. The terms and conditions might be different but they all do, and not brokers that offer a demo account are regulated. This guide is about regulated CFD brokers in the UK with good demo account conditions. After making your choice, you can contact your preferred forex broker and open a demo account with them.
City Index is regulated by the FCA. You can open a demo account with their trading platform or Metatrader 4. This gives you access to all the features and tools on these platforms. You will also get £10,000 in virtual balance in your demo account to trade. A downside is that you can only use this demo account for 12 weeks.
You can choose from four different account types – CFD, Spread Bet, joint CFD-Spread Bet, and MT4 Accounts. The account type depends on you.
City Index has a free demo account with access to all instruments. With their webtrader and Metatrader 4, you can access over 12000 CFD instruments. The webtrader has HTML5 technology features and other features. You can create personal workspaces and personalize them.
You can also use advanced charting tools to draw market and trend patterns with precision. The webtrader also allows you have multiple markets on one chart by overlaying them.
You can also use the mobile trading platforms on Android or iOS.
The £10,000 virtual cash is your trading capital. The money is not real so you do need to worry about losses. You will be able to trade currency pairs, indices, commodities, shares, and other CFDs. Also, you will be able to test their guaranteed stop-loss order and how much they charge for it.
You can only use this demo account for 12 weeks (3 months) and according to City Index, you cannot extend your duration of use.
But there is a solution to this.
If you feel you need more time to demo trade, you can apply for another demo account.
#2 CMC Markets – Forex Demo Account Broker with Wide Range of CFD Instruments
CMC Markets are FCA regulated. A demo account is available on their Next Generation trading platform and MT4. You get £10,000 in virtual cash when you open a demo account with CMC Markets. CMC Markets operate flexible terms with their demo accounts which is clearly stated on their website.
Now, let us see CMC Markets in detail. You can open a demo account for two account types – CFD Account and Spread Betting Account. However, your chosen trading platform will determine your account type.
You cannot open a demo account for the Spread Betting Account on MT4. Only CFD trading is available. If you choose CMC Market’s Next Generation platform, you can get a demo account for CFD trading or spread betting.
Not all instruments are available on MT4. Only forex, indices, and commodities are available. However, you can trade forex, indices, commodities, and shares on the Next Generation trading platform.
CMC Markets demo account has the most currency pairs (330+) compared to other demo accounts in this review.
On the Next Generation Trading Platform, share CFDs are not infinitely available like other CFDs. You need to activate them. After activation, you have 30 days to practice trading them. They will not be available after these 30 days are over.
One more thing, you can keep your demo account for as long as you like. But you must log in and trade at least once a month. If you don’t, your account will be closed. And you can always open another one.
Can you see why we said CMC Market’s terms are flexible?
#3 Pepperstone – UK Regulated Forex Broker with Demo Trading Account
Pepperstone is an FCA-regulated CFD broker that offers demo trading. You can open a demo account across their three trading platforms. The MetaTrader platforms lets you enjoy 30 indicators, 31 graphical tools, and automated trading. You also get £50,000 in virtual cash.
Pepperstones’s three account types – Razor Account, Spread Bet, and Standard Account are all available as demo accounts. MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and cTrader are the supported trading platforms.
Pepperstone offers the highest virtual cash compared to other brokers. Also, they are the only broker in this review that charges a commission(£4.50 round-turn on MT4/MT5, $6 round-turn on cTrader).
Also, Pepperstone does not put a limit on the availabilities of CFDs. All of their CFDs are available which include 60+ currency pairs, 20+ stock indices, 900+ stocks, 100+ ETF, 20+ commodities, and 3 currency indices are available on the three trading platforms.
Pepperstone has quick execution (30 milliseconds) with no dealing desk. The Razor Account is an ECN-type account. You should demo trade this account if you prefer raw spreads and an ECN environment.
Your pepperstone MT4/MT5 demo account expires after 30 days even if you set it to non-expiry.
But your cTrader demo accounts will not expire if you log in at least once in 30 days.
#4 FXCM – Forex Broker with Multiple Demo Trading Platforms
Forex Capital Markets Limited are FCA regulated. FXCM lets you have access to MetaTrader 4, NinjaTrader, and Trading Station. Trading Station is FXCM’s proprietary trading platform. You can open a demo account on all platforms. You get a maximum virtual cash of £50,000.
FXCM offers just one account. The account is spread only so no commissions are charged.
With their trading platforms, you can open a demo account that suits you. For example, their MT4 is good for you if you want to automate your trading. NinjaTrader has advanced tools that are helpful for in-depth technical analysis.
If you choose Trading Station, you get to access backtesting and FXCM automation.
As seen on FXCM’s website, there is a disclaimer that is good for you to know. In summary, some products on demo accounts might not be available on the live account. Other factors such as margin, slippage, and delayed pricing may also differ.
Your virtual cash will also differ depending on your trading platform. On Trading Station, you get £50,000 in virtual cash. On MT4, it can be up to £100,000.
Your demo accounts expire only if you don’t trade within 30 days.
IG Markets are regulated by the FCA. They offer a demo account on an online version of their trading platform, MT4, and mobile app. You get a pre-set balance of £10,000 in virtual cash to practice trading. In addition, you get exclusive access to educational content on IG Academy.
IG Markets have two accounts – Spread betting and CFD trading account. No extra commissions and you can open a demo account on the two accounts.
IG Demo Account is available on all of their trading platforms, and you can trade up to 18,000 different instruments. The instruments include 99 currency pairs, 8 energies, 5 metals, 21 soft commodities, 34 indices, 16,000+ shares, and 12 bonds.
You will also get £10,000 as a virtual balance plus educational content which is good for beginners. Your IG Demo Account expires in 30 days. However, you can set it to non-expiry by requesting it.
How Do Demo Trading Accounts Work
Demo trading accounts offer an environment for trades to practice and improve their trading skills. They also help you get familiar with the markets. These accounts, usually provided by brokers simulate real market conditions without involving real money money. Traders can practice executing trades, test strategies and navigate trading platforms using virtual money.
One significant benefit of demo trading is its value. It allows users, beginners to understand the intricacies of trading without the fear of loss. You can explore all CFD instruments like stocks, forex and commodities while gaining knowledge about market trends and price movements.
Furthermore demo accounts serve as a tool for assessing your broker’s services. You can evaluate the speed, functionality and features of their trading interface before opening a live trading account. This helps you make informed decision when choosing a broker because you can easily evaluate multiple brokers and their demo account.
Although demo accounts replicate real market conditions to some extent, it is important to note that your emotions are not involved. The money in your demo account is not real so fear and greed usually do not show up. Despite this limitation these simulated environments remain crucial for traders seeking to build confidence before trading a live account.
How to Open a Demo Account in the UK
Opening a demo account is easier and faster than opening a live account. This is because you do not need to supply some details. Let us show you how fast it is with CMC Markets.
1) On CMC Markets’ homepage, click on ‘OPEN DEMO ACCOUNT’. You will begin by entering your email address and creating a password. You will also select your preferred trading platform. When you are done, click ‘CONTINUE’
2) For the second step, you only need to select the account type you want. Then click ‘CONTINUE’
3) A 6-digit code will be sent to your email. Enter it in the space provided and click on ‘VERIFY’
4) You will get a final notification that your email is verified and your demo account is activated. After this, check your email inbox. You will find your demo account details and the steps to take to access it.
How to Choose the Best Forex Demo Account in the UK
There are different factors to consider when choosing a forex demo account. They might vary from trader to trader. However, there are general factors that apply to all. Let us take you through them:
1. Regulation: A demo account will likely lead you to you opening a live account. You should only open a demo account with a regulated broker.
A regulated broker is a financial service provider licensed with the FCA. The FCA is the regulatory body that authorizes forex brokers in the UK. Choosing a regulated broker protects your funds and shields you from fraud.
Brokers usually reveal their regulations in the footnote of their website. If you scroll down, you will find it. Here is an example with Pepperstone:
You can see Pepperstone’s registered name (Pepperstone Limited) and FCA licence number (648312)
Beyond the forex broker’s website, it is good that you double-check to be sure. How do you do this? Simply go to the FCA’s website at https://register.fca.org.uk/s/. You will be able to verify a CFD broker’s regulation there. The importance of verifying with the FCA is to see if the registered name and FCA licence number on the broker’s website match the one on the FCA’s website.
You can apply these simple steps to verify the licence of any forex broker. Come along as we show you how to go about it. We have chosen Pepperstone as our example.
When you get to the FCA website stated above, you will arrive at the homepage. You will not find the search panel immediately so you will have to scroll down a bit. When you see the search panel, enter the broker’s name. Also, you should select ‘firms’ and click on ‘Search’. We have illustrated this below
After completing the first step, the image below will be your final result.
Remember you have to do this to see if the company name and license number match. From the image above, you see that Pepperstone’s FCA regulation is valid. The details in the image match the ones on their website.
2. Account types: Account conditions vary from broker to broker. Some brokers have one account type while some have more than two. Also, underlying conditions are important. Look at Pepperstone for example, their Razor Account has raw and low spread. It is an ECN kind of account.
If you want raw spread in your live account, then you should be opening a demo account with raw spreads. You need to make sure your demo account is similar to your live account preferences as much as possible.
The picture below shows Pepperstone account types with different fees:
You can always speak to the broker’s customer support to know about their account types.
3. Trading fees: Forex brokers might offer different accounts with fees. For example, FXCM offers just one trading account with no commissions. Pepperstone offers 3 accounts charging a commission on the Razor Account alone.
You should not open an account without the knowledge of the fees attached to them. Spreads, Commissions, and Swaps. You should know about them all.
The screenshot below is an example of currency pairs and their typical spreads with CMC Markets.
For most forex brokers, you will find this under their “fees”, “charges” or “pricing”.
4. Trading Platforms: Trading platforms also have their own peculiar properties. Some brokers like CMC Markets offer their proprietary trading platform plus MT4. Pepperstone has no proprietary trading platform.
In addition, fees might also vary. Remember Peppersstone? The commission on their MT4/MT5 Razor Account is different from the one on cTrader. This is why you should go through the broker’s website and read about their platforms. Do this before opening a demo account.
Another thing is the tools and education available. Most brokers tend to have advanced charting tools and educational materials on their proprietary trading platform.
When you are on a broker’s website, look for “platforms” and click on it. You will find the necessary information there. Here is an example with IG Markets
You can see that the broker has MT4 and their proprietary platforms. A demo account should be available on all of them. If you click ‘MetaTrader 4’ for example, you can verify this.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that the trading platform is available on multiple devices. You should be able to trade your demo account on a laptop or via trading apps on a mobile phone.
Why is this important? Your mobile phone is pocket size. You can take it anywhere, open and close trades on the go, take advantage of news releases, etc. Do not settle for a demo account that you cannot access on a mobile app.
Furthermore on mobile apps. If your broker has a proprietary trading app, you can go to the play store or appstore to check their ratings and reviews. Doing this let’s you know what other traders who have used the app are saying. Good ratings and reviews might be a signal that traders enjoy their experience when trading on the app.
5. Range of CFDs: Because demo accounts simulates live market environment, you can learn a lot about different CFDs. Demo accounts are zero risks. So if your broker has a wide market range, you can play around different CFDs to make your trading better.
For example, some CFDs are more volatile and move faster than other CFDs. There are also CFDs who are best traded at certain periods under specific conditions. It is risky trying to learn all of these on your live account. You will lose a lot of money.
So, it is advisable you open a demo account with a broker that has a wide range of trading instruments. There should be a good number of currency pairs, indices, shares CFDs, ETFs, commodities, and metals. IG Markets has the widest range of CFDs of all the brokers in this review.
Apart from the popular CFDs, IG Markets also provide trading opportunities with bonds, interest rates, futures, and options.
6. Account Expiry Date: This is probably the most important factor when it comes to demo accounts. Some forex brokers offer demo accounts with an expiry date but with different conditions. There are demo accounts that expire and you cannot get a new one. Also, there are those that expire and you get a new one. It all depends on the broker you choose.
The downside of the latter is that it makes it difficult to monitor your progress. Because when you get a new account, all the work on the old account is gone. It is recommended that you are able to track your progress for a minimum of one year before trading with real money. Demo Accounts that expire in months will not help you achieve this. You can not tell if your strategy is effective over a short period of demo trading
So what do you do? Choose a forex broker that offers a demo account with no expiration date. This way, you can trade at your pace and practice as long as you need.
7. Customer Support: The last factor is customer support. Because you are testing accounts and platforms, you will have questions. You might need some clarification. So your chosen broker should be reachable via phone call, live chat, and email. You will find FAQs helpful too.
FAQs on Best Forex Demo Accounts UK
Which is a Forex Demo Account?
A Demo Trading Account allows traders to practice on real market conditions, and place orders at the current prices, but without the risk of losing any real money. Forex brokers offer demo accounts with a virtual balance, so traders can practice, test our strategies and improve their trading skills.
How do I open a Forex Demo account in the UK?
You need to first find a FCA regulated forex broker that offers demo account. Most of the regulated forex brokers offer free demo trading accounts. After choosing a broker, go ahead & open a demo account with that broker. Read the terms & conditions, and validity of the demo account.
Are Demo Accounts free?
Most UK regulated forex broker offer Free Demo Trading Accounts. Some brokers close inactive demo accounts after a period, but you can always open new demo trading accounts anytime for free.
How much money do you risk when you are trading a demo? ?
You do not risk any money trading a demo account. CFD brokers give virtual funds for demo accounts at no cost.
Is Demo Account the same as live account?
No, they are not the same. Some things may be different. Brokers try to offer demo accounts that replicate real market conditions & prices, but the real account are according to the actual conditions. For example, the products, margin, execution speed, etc. may be different from the real accounts.