CFD Demo Accounts

CFD demo accounts are a great way for UK investors to practise trading risk-free. Not just ideal for new or inexperienced investors, a paper trading profile can be the ideal place for traders to test a new strategy in a simulated environment. This guide will cover the pros and cons of using a CFD demo account, how they work and tips for getting started. We also list the top brokers offering CFD demo accounts to UK investors.

Top CFD Demo Accounts UK

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    AvaTrade's 1250+ leveraged CFD products span a wide range of asset classes including stocks, indices, commodities, bonds, crypto, and ETFs. You can speculate on underlying assets in the broker’s feature-rich web and mobile platforms with market-leading research tools to help discover opportunities.

  2. XTB

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    XTB offers a huge selection of more than 2,100 CFDs spanning forex, indices, commodities, stocks, ETFs, and cryptos (location-dependant). Leverage up to 1:30 is available in the EU and UK, while global clients and pro traders can access up to 1:500. XTB stands out for its CFD trading resources and tutorials to assist traders in developing short-term trading strategies.

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    CMC lets you trade CFDs on 12,000+ assets across currencies, indices, commodities, shares, ETFs and treasuries. Spreads are relatively tight, there are no hidden fees and the industry-leading MetaTrader 4 platform is also supported for leveraged trading. Year after year, CMC shines as one of the best CFD brokers in the market.

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    Eightcap offers a wide range of trading options with 800+ CFDs across stocks, indices, bonds, commodities, and cryptocurrencies (depending on location), with leverage up to 1:30/1:500. It excels in its tools, notably the AI-enabled economic calendar covering 25+ countries with impact filters (high, medium, low). However, its commodities offering, particularly in softs like cotton and wheat, as well as the limited precious metal and energy assets, is its weakest area.

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    FXCC offers a narrow range of CFDs beyond forex with a limited selection of metals, energies, indices and cryptos. However, it stands out with its high leverage up to 1:500, which will serve experienced traders looking to maximize their buying power while speculating on rising and falling prices.

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    Pepperstone maintains its position as one of the fastest and most dependable CFD brokers during our latest round of testing. With execution speeds averaging around 30ms and an outstanding fill rate of 99.90%, the broker ensures a seamless trading experience without requotes or dealing desk interference. It also provides ample trading opportunities across over 1,300 assets.

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    Over 8,000 CFDs are offered on a vast array of instruments, encompassing stocks, indices, forex, and commodities. Moreover, the TWS platform lends itself to seasoned traders, offering a comprehensive selection of over 100 order types and algorithms, alongside premium market data sourced from reputable sources such as Reuters and Dow Jones.

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    You gain access to over 2,250 CFDs, available for trading 24/5 across popular markets such as forex, commodities, indices, stocks, and bonds. Utilizing deep liquidity and advanced bridge technology, IC Markets ensures optimal conditions for scalpers, hedgers, and algo traders alike.

  9. XM

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    Traders can speculate on leveraged CFDs with zero commissions, spanning popular markets including currencies, equities and commodities. Additionally, the MetaTrader platforms collectively offer dozens of advanced technical indicators built for short-term strategies.

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    Trade 5,000+ CFDs from a single account with no hidden fees and free live market data. The suite of markets is impressive vs alternatives, including access to shares, indices, commodities and bonds.

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    DNA Markets offers a small suite of 250 CFDs covering stocks, indices, forex, commodities and cryptos, providing opportunities to speculate on rising and falling prices. There are no restrictions on strategies with leverage up to 1:30 (Australia) or 1:500 (rest of world).

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    With the ability to take both long and short positions on 5,500+ CFDs across forex, stocks, indices, commodities, and cryptocurrencies, FOREX.com excels. Its exclusive Web Trader platform offers an excellent trading experience, equipped with over 80 technical indicators and average execution speeds of just 20 milliseconds, ensuring an optimal environment for serious traders.

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    You can trade CFDs on over 3,000 assets and access rich market data through the integrated TradingView charts. There are also comprehensive free learning tools available for beginners via the eToro Academy, including dedicated CFD trading courses and guides.

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    RoboForex offers a growing suite of over 12,000 CFDs, encompassing forex, stocks, indices, commodities, futures and ETFs. With an initial deposit of $10 and micro lot trading through to very high leverage up to 1:2000, RoboForex caters to a broad range of derivative traders. On the downside, analysis reveals execution speeds of 1-3 seconds, noticeably slower than IC Markets at 0.35 seconds, and suboptimal for fast-paced strategies like scalping.

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    You can trade CFDs across a range of diverse markets with flexible account types and leverage up to 1:1000. With access to both MT4 and MT5, traders can execute multiple short-term CFD trading strategies using the dozens of pre-integrated technical indicators and graphical objects.

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    Trade leveraged CFDs on over 1000 assets with low-cost spreads. You can also take advantage of the broker's integrated signals to help you determine when to enter and exit positions.

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    IG offers a huge selection of 17,000+ CFDs, providing more trading opportunities than most CFD brokers. Traders can go long or short on popular markets like stocks, currencies, commodities and cryptos, while custom price alerts and the IG Academy continue to enhance the trading experience.

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    BlackBull Markets CFDs are offered on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos with tight spreads and high leverage. The ECN accounts offer fast execution and low slippage, and the broker provides traders with plenty of extra tools and features plus 24/7 customer support.

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    Traders can speculate on 1000+ financial markets with high leverage up to 1:500. You can bet on rising and falling prices in currencies, commodities, indices, shares, and more without owning the underlying asset. With the comprehensive choice of CFD trading platforms, users can also switch between desktop, web and mobile for a seamless trading experience.

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    FxPro offers thousands of CFDs on forex, commodities, indices, shares and futures. The broker's analysis and charting capabilities continue to stand as some of the best in the industry, with Trading Central integration, advanced order types and access to custom indicators.

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    Plus500 presents commission-free CFDs encompassing a vast array of markets, spanning currencies, stocks, indices, and commodities. You can engage in long or short positions on popular assets, benefiting from adaptable leverage without encountering any concealed fees.

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    You can go long or short on a range of CFDs covering forex, commodities, shares, indices and cryptos. High leverage up to 1:500 is available for experienced traders in some locations, whilst beginners will appreciate access to micro-lots. There are no restrictions on short-term trading strategies using CFDs.

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    You can trade 275+ CFD instruments covering equities, currencies, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies. The broker offers flexible trading software and account options, plus access to the unique dealCancellation risk management tool, which is ideal for beginners.

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    Access highly leveraged CFDs across forex, commodities, indices, stocks and bonds with 24/5 customer support. Build a diverse portfolio with hundreds of CFD assets.

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    CFDs are available on forex, stocks, indices, metals, oil and cryptos, with support on MT4 and MT5. Execution speeds are also decent, averaging 0.5 seconds, though there is also a VPS service facilitating 24/7 connectivity for algo strategies.

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    CFDs are available on forex, indices, commodities and cryptos, although the range of 100+ instruments is limited compared to alternatives such as Quotex with 400+. Leverage is available up to 1:500 but the $250 minimum deposit is noticeably higher than competitors.

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    Markets.com offers a strong variety of CFD products, not only covering popular asset classes but also more interesting markets such as IPOs and Bonds. The low fees and educational resources will appeal to beginners, whilst seasoned CFD traders will appreciate the feature-rich charting platforms.

  28. Axi

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    Axi offers 220+ products covering forex, shares, commodities, indices and cryptos. Spreads on EUR/USD come in at around 0.2 pips in the Pro account and 1.1 pips in the Standard account. These are competitive and aligned with equivalent accounts at leading low-cost brokers like Pepperstone.

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    The broker offers a small range of 100+ CFD instruments spanning key markets, with high leverage up to 1:500. Pricing is reasonable, with round turn commissions coming in at $6 alongside tight spreads. Multiple short-term strategies are also permitted, including hedging and scalping.

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    VT Markets offers over 1000+ CFDs spanning currencies, stocks, indices, ETFs and commodities. The MetaTrader charting platforms provide dozens of technical tools alongside integrated market analysis resources and zero restrictions on short-term trading strategies.

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    My tests uncovered around 100 CFD products covering forex, indices, commodities and cryptos. Leverage is available up to 1:400 and it’s good to see that scalping, hedging and EA strategies are permitted.

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    PrimeXBT offers CFDs across four asset classes with very high leverage up to 1:1000. Beginners can also take advantage of the broker’s useful technical analysis guides and CFD education, plus 24/7 in-platform support via live chat.

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    Traders can access CFDs across forex, indices, commodities and stocks. There are no restrictions on short-term strategies, which is good news for scalpers and algo traders. There’s also an excellent range of free tools on offer, including a custom price ticker.

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    FXTrading offers CFDs on a wide range of assets, including forex, stocks, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies. Commodities include a selection of softs as well as metals and energies, and the eight indices offered include the US30, US500 and UK100. Flexible leverage is available with excellent risk management tools.

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    ThinkMarkets continues to offer an excellent range of around 3500 CFD instruments covering forex, indices, stocks and commodities. Leverage is available up to 1:30 in the EU and UK, while global clients can access up to 1:500.

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    M4Markets offers CFD trading across forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Traders can access powerful charting platforms with multiple order types and built-in indicators. There’s also a good selection of data-driven analysis tools supplied by reputable provider, Acuity.

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    Access over 2,000 CFDs across diverse markets including indices, commodities and bonds. There is also premium daily analysis and strategy resources for savvy traders.

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    Trade 400+ CFDs on forex, stocks, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies with the choice of commission-free or raw-spread accounts with transparent fees. Speculate on rising and falling prices with no hidden charges.

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    IronFX’s asset list of 300+ instruments covers forex, stocks, commodities and index CFDs. Maximum leverage from 1:30 to 1:1000 is available depending on account location. Traders can access superb technical analysis features, including 30 pre-integrated indicators and 9 charting time frames.

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    Ingot Brokers offers CFD trading on 1000+ instruments including stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The MT4 and MT5 platforms offer comprehensive features for active CFD traders, including multiple order types and pre-integrated technical tools.

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    You can trade a range of CFD instruments across forex, shares, indices and commodities. There’s an excellent selection of platforms for traders, including TradingView and MT4, plus additional tools for experienced algo traders including API solutions.

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    You can trade hundreds of CFDs on major asset classes including currencies, shares and futures. Spreads are not overly competitive starting at 0.9 pips, although the $50 minimum deposit and zero commissions will allow active traders to keep their costs down.

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    Dukascopy offers highly leveraged CFDs with rates up to 1:200. A wide selection of asset classes are available, including currencies, equities, commodities, ETFs and cryptos. Spreads are also tight starting from 0.1 pips and traders get 24/7 support.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos with high leverage up to 1:500 on the no-commission ClassiQ account. The raw spread account options have low commissions from $4 round-turn and offer lower maximum of leverage of 1:200 or 1:400, which is still competitive.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, indices, metals, oil and cryptocurrencies with high leverage up to 1:500 and competitive spreads, with the choice between zero commission or raw spreads.

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    Trade 200+ CFDs with leverage up to 1:1000 on a powerful proprietary platform. Asset classes include stocks, forex and crypto with ECN execution. You can bet on rising and falling prices with leveraged CFDs.

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    Videforex CFDs are available on forex, indices, cryptocurrencies and commodities with up to 1:500 leverage and tight spreads from near zero. CFDs incur a commission fee of 1%–2.5% and up to 5% for leveraged trades.

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    Rock Global offers low-price CFDs on forex, shares, indices and commodities. The broker charges zero-commission trading on commodities and indices, and zero-spread, commission-only trading on shares. Leverage varies by instrument with 1:200 available on indices and 1:10 on blue-chip stocks.

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    FXTM’s CFD offering spans 250+ forex, stocks, commodities and indices, plus crypto CFDs at the global entity. Leverage up to 1:30 is available from the CySEC-regulated branch, though highly seasoned traders can also access massive 1:2000 rates from the global entity.

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    You can trade a competitive range of CFDs encompassing crypto, indices, energies and metals, with very high leverage up to 1:1000. ECN pricing is available, with spreads from 0.0 pips and low commissions from $2.50. A Cent account is also available for those on a smaller budget.

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    CFDs are available on a breadth of underlying assets, including stocks, indices, commodities, forex and cryptos. High leverage up to 1:500 is available alongside a 0.01 minimum lot size and award-winning software. For the tightest spreads from 0 pips, opt for the Premium account.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, indices, stocks, commodities and cryptocurrencies with leverage up to 1:3000. Swap-free trading is available, and all account types trade with competitive spreads and are commission-free except the Go Pro account, which charges a $7 round-turn commission.

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    CFDs are available on popular asset classes with a competitive $1 minimum deposit. The MT5 integration will allow serious short-term traders to utilize the vast library of technical tools, bots and indicators, but the lack of any CFD trading education puts the broker behind many alternatives.

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    Focus Option offers CFD trading through an intuitive mobile app, with 300+ tradeable instruments spanning forex, cryptocurrencies, commodities, shares and indices. Leverage ranges from 1:20 to 1:50 and spreads are variable, starting from 1 pip, with no commission.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, metals, energies, indices, cryptos and dollar futures. Sage FX offers tight spreads and high leverage on all instruments from 1:100 to 1:500.

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    Access thousands of CFDs with competitive pricing and leverage up to 1:500. A range of asset classes are available, including currencies, shares, indices, metals and commodities. CFDs can be traded on the market-leading MetaTrader platforms.

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    PU Prime offers CFD trading on hundreds of shares, as well as indices, commodities, bonds and cryptocurrencies. The leverage available varies by asset, and spreads also vary greatly between instruments and account types with the tightest near zero and the widest in the hundreds of pips. Stock, index, commodity and bond CFDs are traded on the leading MT4 platform.

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    SimpleFX stands out with highly leveraged trading options up to 1:1000 covering popular asset classes, including stocks, indices, currencies and commodities. Additionally, the social community serves as an excellent resource for gathering CFD strategy tips and short-term trading ideas.

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    Errante customers can trade stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies with leveraged CFDs. The level of leverage available depends on regulatory oversight, with 1:30 the maximum allowed in the EU though this varies by asset.

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    CFDs are available on hundreds of markets including forex, indices, shares and commodities. Traders can go long or short with reliable trading tools, excellent market research and transparent pricing.

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    Swissquote offers spot, forward and synthetic contracts on a breadth of markets, including stocks, indices, bonds and commodities. The pricing model is transparent with no hidden fees. Clients can diversify portfolios and hedge risk with low margin requirements.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, metals, energies, cryptos and indices with high leverage up to 1:1000 on major currency pairs, 1:200 on metals, 1:100 on indices, 1:33 on stocks and energies, and 1:5 on cryptocurrencies. The range of 200+ instruments is not the biggest on the market, but the variety of asset classes provides flexible trading options for most traders.

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    FP Markets offers CFD trading on a first-rate selection of financial markets, spanning stocks, major global indices, commodities, metals, cryptocurrencies, and bonds. With tight spreads, fast execution speeds, leverage up to 1:500 and top-tier liquidity, short-term traders get an efficient and seamless trading experience.

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    Core Spreads offers CFD trading on 40 forex pairs plus 13 commodities, including metals and energies, and 13 global stock indices including the UK100 and US30. CFDs are traded through the MT4 platform with leverage up to 1:30 in line with UK regulations.

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    Anzo Capital clients can use MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 to trade CFDs on stocks, equity indices, crude oil and precious metals with competitive price levels.

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    HYCM traders can access CFDs on a range of stocks, indices, commodities and ETFs with floating spreads and maximum leverage varying by instrument. Clients also have a choice between two industry-leading platforms.

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    Global Prime offers CFD trading opportunities on 150+ global markets including forex, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies and bonds. Spreads are tight with a raw ECN account available starting from zero.

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    Fortrade's list of leveraged CFDs covers a wide range of asset classes including forex, stocks, bonds, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Traders can access leverage up to 1:30 and will trade with zero commission, fast execution and low latency on MetaTrader 4 or the bespoke platform.

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    Traders have the opportunity to engage in CFD trading across a broad spectrum of assets, including currency pairs, stocks, commodities, bullion (gold and silver), indices, and cryptocurrencies. Experienced traders can access high leverage up to 1:1000 in certain jurisdictions. However, a notable downside is the restriction of scalping strategies which may deter experienced traders.

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    FXOpen offers CFDs on multiple assets including forex, stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs. Leverage and spreads vary by instrument, with spreads starting from zero and fast order execution.

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    Libertex's list of CFDs covers a decent range of tradeable underlying assets, but there isn't much depth with only around 250 in total. Leverage up to 1:30 for retail clients is available in accordance with CySEC regulations, and traders can choose between three excellent trading platforms. Best of all are the tight spreads available on all markets and the zero commissions on investments in stocks.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, indices, commodities, ETFs, bonds and cryptocurrencies with variable leverage up to 1:30. The broker provides great value to traders with six free trades per day on US, UK and European stocks, tight spreads on forex and low commissions on ETFs.

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    Trade CFDs on a broad range of asset classes including forex, energies, precious metals, company shares, indices and cryptos. The excellent trade execution and opportunity to trade with direct market access pricing sets this broker apart from rivals.

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    Trade CFDs on forex, stocks, commodities and indices with tight spreads and leverage limited to the FCA-sanctioned maximum of 1:30. Infinox traders benefit from lightning-fast execution speeds and a choice between STP and ECN pricing, making this a flexible option for beginner and serious traders.

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    Trade CFDs on 75+ instruments, including forex, energies, metals, and indices with variable leverage up to 1:500 on major pairs, 1:200 on minors and exotics and 1:100 on commodities and energies.

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    OspreyFX offers leveraged CFDs on forex, commodities, stocks, cryptos and indices. Deep liquidity is available from 50+ providers with a competitive ECN account that will suit active trading strategies, including scalping.

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    Trade a decent range of markets via CFDs, with commissions of $6 per lot. There is also a reasonable $10 minimum deposit and 24/7 customer support for new traders.

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    Trade all markets via CFDs, with retail leverage up to 1:30. With the RStocks Trader account, clients can access over 12,000 CFDs with algorithmic analysis tools and intuitive charts.

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    AdroFx offers a most selection of around 100 CFDs on stocks, cryptos, indices and commodities. Its appeal lies in the high leverage up to 1:500 which you can't find in heavily regulated jurisdictions and the commission-free pricing model which will serve beginners. You can speculate on both rising and falling prices from the same product with CFDs.

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    Trade flexible CFDs on forex, commodities, indices and cryptos with tight spreads, fast execution, micro-lot trading and leverage up to 1:500. There are also no restrictions on trading strategies.

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    EZ Invest offers leveraged CFDs on popular asset classes, including forex, stocks, indices and commodities. Execution speeds are decent but a large deposit is needed for the best pricing conditions.

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    Trade 8,900+ CFDs spanning forex, stocks, indices, commodities, options and bonds with powerful tools and signals.

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    SuperForex offers CFDs on a good range of assets, though it only really shines when it comes to forex, thanks to its very diverse list. On the other hand, the significant leverage available on most assets increases profit potential, though traders will need to watch out for spreads, which compare poorly to some competitors.

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    You can speculate on popular financial assets covering forex, commodities, indices, metals and bonds. You can get started with $0 minimum deposit, making the broker a good pick for beginners. There’s also over 130 technical indicators available collectively in the MT4 and OANDA Trade platforms.

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    Trade CFDs on 100+ instruments from popular asset classes. Leverage up to 1:200 is available on precious metals, while stocks, indices and energies can access 1:20 max leverage and 1:10 for commodities. On the negative side, the depth of assets is limited vs other CFD brokers.

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    With CFDs on 20+ Polish and 30+ US stocks, as well as energies and seven global stock indices covering US, UK, European, Australian and Japanese markets, Just2Trade offers a superb selection of global assets.

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    You can take positions on a range of popular trading markets including forex, stocks, energies and metals. Leverage is high at 1:500 and live spreads can be viewed in the web-accessible platform and app.

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    World Forex's leveraged CFDs are available on a modest suite of 100+ instruments, including stocks, commodities and forex. Very high leverage up to 1:1000 is available for account balances up to $1000, with lower levels available to accounts with higher balances.

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    Access a modest range of CFD instruments across key markets, including indices and commodities. Clients can trade directly from charts with high leverage up to 1:500 and customisable time intervals.

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    Trade commission-free CFDs on 3000+ instruments from forex, stock and commodities markets with volumes starting from 0.1 lots, a low minimum deposit of $10 and tight floating spreads. The selection of CFDs beats most competitors.

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    Trade CFDs on an array of assets with ultra-low spreads

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    Engage in leveraged CFD trading across a wide array of instruments, encompassing forex, stocks, commodities, and indices. Yet while the selection of asset classes is satisfactory, the charting software and floating spreads for short-term traders fall behind that of competitors.

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    Trade leveraged CFDs in a range of financial markets.

What Is A CFD Demo Account?

A CFD demo account is a simulated profile offered by many of the best online brokers. They aim to recreate the virtual experience of a live trading scenario.

Also known as paper trading accounts, these profiles essentially provide a risk-free opportunity for investors to learn platform features and get to grips with how contracts for difference work. They also provide a great setting for experienced traders to build and test a new or risky strategy.

Today, the majority of brokers offer some sort of practice environment for UK traders. However, the amount of virtual funds available and the duration that demo profiles remain active for varies. Brokers with CFD demo accounts also provide different financial assets with varying access to instant and delayed market data.

Demo Accounts Vs Live Accounts

The main difference between a CFD demo account and a live profile is that you do not risk losing any money with a practice account. You can place trades, amend charts or play with leverage, safe in the knowledge that your simulated positions won’t result in any financial losses. Pre-determined or flexible virtual balances are provided so you don’t have to practise trading with any of your personal capital.

The best brokers with CFD demo accounts will simulate real-time market conditions, meaning you can practise against live price shifts. Virtual leverage, spreads and commissions may also be applied to accurately mirror the live trading experience.

With that said, there are some key differences between CFD demo accounts and live trading profiles:

  • Additional Fees – You will not incur actual costs with a demo account profile. This means there are no overnight financing charges, trading commissions or floating/fixed spreads to pay. Equally, access to the broker’s CFD trading platform should be provided for free.
  • Flexibility – You have full flexibility within a paper trading account to open various positions of different sizes to explore different strategies. The only caveat is that most brokers will often have a minimum and maximum trade size.
  • Price Movements – Positions opened via a paper trading profile will not normally be subject to slippage or out-of-hours price movements. Slippage is the difference between your order price (or expected price) and the actual price you end up buying or selling at.

List of top CFD demo trading accounts UK

Brokers Offering CFD Demo Accounts

Below is a list of several CFD brokers that offer demo accounts to UK investors:

  • CMC Markets – Up to £10,000 in virtual funds, simple online registration (email address only), no time limit, available on proprietary terminal or MT4, secure login
  • FXCM – Up to £50,000 in virtual funds, simple online registration (email address only), no time limit but only Monday to Friday paper trading, secure login
  • XTB – Up to £10,000 in virtual funds, simple online registration (email address and contact number), 4-week time limit, available on proprietary terminal or MT4, secure login
  • IG – Up to £10,000 in virtual funds, more detailed online registration (name, email address and contact number), no time limit, available on proprietary terminal or MT4, secure login
  • eToro – Up to £100,000 in virtual funds, live account sign-up is required before being able to select ‘virtual portfolio’, no time limit to switch between live and virtual profile. Clients can also utilise the copy trading feature in the demo account setting

Importantly, all of the examples above provide paper trading services for free.

Pros Of CFD Demo Accounts

  • No Risk – CFD demo accounts are a great way to practise a new strategy, learn trading techniques or make risky decisions without the chance of losing real money
  • Learning – A demo profile without a time limit means you can spend time identifying any strategy shortcomings or faults and highlight key success points when making CFD trading decisions. It might also be worth keeping a journal
  • Build Confidence – Making investing decisions and being rewarded with hypothetical profit can build trading confidence. Additionally, experiencing failure can help tighten risk management strategies before real money is on the line
  • Practise – Paper trading profiles are ideal for complete novices to get to grips with trading CFDs. Play around with charting features or experiment with a new indicator without risking cash

Cons Of CFD Demo Accounts

  • Access To Features – Some brokers do not permit access to all trading terminals, tools or instruments within a CFD demo account. This may include being able to use advanced graphs, copy trading features or strategy builders
  • Emotional Disconnect – The comfort of trading with virtual funds in a completely simulated environment does not allow you to experience the psychological emotions of trading with real funds. It is easy to become risk-averse when high stakes aren’t on the line
  • Real-Life Trading Conditions – A broker may not provide access to truly live trading conditions within a paper trading profile. You may experience simulated pricing, tighter spreads or reduced commissions
  • Commissions – Not all brokerages will reflect the true expenditure associated with a live trading account. You may practise a specific strategy and come out with an acceptable profit margin within a demo profile. However in real-money trading, trading fees could quickly eat away at profits
  • Slippage – Typically, orders within a demo account are executed instantly. Therefore, inexperienced investors may get a false feeling of confidence that doesn’t take into account real-life slippage (when the price at which your order is executed does not match the price at which it was requested)

Getting Started

Choose A CFD Demo Account

Firstly you will need to find a broker that offers CFD demo accounts to new or existing clients. Information may be found on the broker’s homepage, via the FAQ section or in the account registration area.

If it is unclear, it might be worth reaching out to the broker’s customer service team to ask if a practice account is available. Alternatively, use our list of the top CFD demo accounts in the United Kingdom.

Comparing Brokers

The best brokers will provide a free CFD demo account containing all of the features of a live trading profile. This will include access to real-time market conditions, flexible trade sizes, leverage opportunities and wide market access.

It is also worth checking if the paper trading account is available on mobile devices. Get everything you would expect from a desktop paper trading account, including chart trading and technical analysis tools on your smartphone or portable device. Practise monitoring the markets and managing a CFD portfolio while on the go.

Also look out for additional features on the broker’s website that may come in useful when you progress to a live trading account. This could include educational content, a transparent fee structure and 24/7 customer support.

Register For A Demo Account

Once you have found a suitable broker with a CFD demo trading account, create a new profile. This is usually a simple process, requiring online registration only. Most brokers require basic personal details such as an email address and contact number to get started.

You can usually open a CFD demo account for the broker’s proprietary terminal or via the industry-renowned MetaTrader 4. Once an account is created, log in and start trading.

Practice

Once you have registered and opened a paper trading profile, you can begin investing. Spend some time understanding the features of the trading terminal, including all the tools and function buttons. It can feel quite complex at first, particularly for new traders.

Once you feel comfortable with the platform basics, start trialling simple trades before utilising advanced charts, graphs or indicators. Some professionals suggest beginners should place 50+ successful trades before committing to a live trading account.

Remember, there is no monetary risk involved so don’t be afraid to test a technique or strategy that feels risky.

Monitor

As they say, practice makes perfect! Even though no real money is at stake, it is worth taking notes and learning from the experience. You may find an asset of interest, learn a new strategy or become comfortable with a particular trading indicator.

And remember, there is no rush. An interesting find from Barber Lee in the paper ‘Do Day Traders Rationally Learn About Their Abilities’, indicated that 80% of day traders give up within the first two years of trading. With this in mind, start your journey slowly and when you have mastered the basics, invest small amounts to begin with. You can then look to build a long-term CFD investing career.

Bottom Line On CFD Demo Accounts

No matter your experience, CFD demo accounts are a useful tool. They provide a risk-free environment to test strategies, learn platform features or get to grips with a new asset. With no real money investment needed, you can view a broker’s offering before committing to a live profile.

Remember though, don’t become complacent. A false sense of security can be created, which often doesn’t play out in the real world.

FAQ

Why Should I Use A CFD Demo Account?

CFD demo accounts are a great way to practise trading in a risk-free environment. If you want to get into trading CFDs, explore a new platform or refine a strategy, demo accounts can be a good place to start.

What Are The Requirements To Open A CFD Demo Account?

The best brokers will have simple registration requirements to open a free CFD demo account. Often this will involve providing an email address and contact number via an online form. Nevertheless, some brokers may request an initial deposit commitment to a live account to access a paper trading environment.

Are There Any Risks Involved With Using CFD Demo Accounts?

From a monetary perspective, there are no risks. You can often trade with unlimited virtual funds.

Do All Brokers Offer A CFD Demo Account?

Today, the majority of established brokers, including IG, CMC Markets and Barclays, offer a CFD demo account.

How Will I Know If A Broker Offers A CFD Trading Demo Account?

The broker will usually list their demo account options within the ‘accounts’ or ‘trading platform’ sections of their website. If still unclear, contact the broker’s customer service team for support.