Demo Accounts

Demo accounts are an excellent way to practice trading forex, CFDs, stocks and cryptos. They present an opportunity to trial strategies, explore new markets and test trading platforms in a risk-free environment. So if you are looking to open a live trading account with the likes of IG, eToro, Oanda, or Plus 500, it could be worth opening a demo account first.

This article runs through the range of markets, platforms and features available at top demo accounts. We also run through their benefits and explain how to open demo accounts with leading brokers in the UK.

Best Demo Accounts

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Found 10 Brokers
Pepperstone offers spread betting andCFD trading to both retail and professional traders. Clients can trade FX, indices, commodities and shares on MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, SCB, DFSA, CMA, BaFin
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£200 / $200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
No
A trader with a Plus500 account can trade CFDs on underlying financial instruments such as Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Cryptocurrency (Availability subject to regulation), Options and Indices. With tight spreads and no commission, they are a leading global brand. Voted #1 in UK.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySec, ASIC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Crypto
No
FXCM are an FCA regulated, London based broker. Companies under the FXCM umbrella are also regulated in Australia and South Africa.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC, ASIC.
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£300
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Crypto
No
Eightcap is a multi-regulated FX & CFD broker offering the MT4 & MT5 platforms. Award winning platform, zero commission, free education and low spreads.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£/€/$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Trade CFDs on a powerful and intuitive trading platform. Over 300 markets to trade, with tight spreads and multi-device support. CySec Regulated.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Crypto
Yes
Leading forex and CFD broker regulated in Ireland, Australia, Canada and South Africa. Avatrade are particularly strong in integration, including MT4
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CBoI, ASIC, FSB
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
No
CMC Markets is headquartered in London and listed on the LSE (FCA Regulated). They offer competitive spreads on a global range of assets via a next generation platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, IIROC, MAS
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£ 0
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
No
Reliable and affordable trading since 2009. Join over 400,000 others trading on 300+ CFD products over assets like forex, gold, indices and shares from 0.0 spreads through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage FX is ASIC regulated and client funds are segregated. Open an account in under 5 minutes.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, FCA, CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Crypto
No
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$200 ($50 in US)
Min. Trade
$1
Crypto
Yes
XM.com Offer a range of Account types and a low minimum deposit to appeal to all levels of trader. With 1000+ markets and low spreads they offer a great service.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, IFSC, CySec, ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
5 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.01 Micro lots
Crypto
No

What Are Demo Accounts?

A demo account is a free, market simulator offered by brokers as an introduction to their trading services. They replicate real market conditions and volatility and let traders experiment with a broker’s features and tools before setting up a real-money trading account.

Practice accounts are bankrolled with virtual cash, the value of which varies from broker to broker. Some demo accounts can be used indefinitely while others expire after a fixed period. Again, this varies between online brokers.

Demo Account Markets

Demo accounts can be used across a multitude of instruments and markets:

  • Forex – FX trading is available with most demo accounts. Trade major global currencies including ZAR, USD and EUR.
  • Stocks – Trade thousands of single shares and stock CFDs, along with penny stocks across global indices such as the NSE, S&P 500 and NASDAQ.
  • Cryptocurrencies – Demo accounts offer a great opportunity to explore cryptocurrency trading including on Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
  • Commodities – Practice trading futures and options on commodities such as gold, silver, oil and wheat.

Plus500 Demo Trading Markets

Why Use Demo Accounts?

Broker Testing

Demo accounts offer an easy way to test a broker’s services, including, charts, indicators and online platforms, prior to investment. From customer support and account types to leverage and bonuses, demo accounts offer a comprehensive insight into all aspects of a broker. They also offer traders the chance to test new day trading strategies, try ECN account conditions, or explore a different market, such as forex or binary options.

Leading Software

The MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms are popular amongst demo accounts in addition to proprietary platforms such as TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim solution. Limitations may apply but there is a good pool of technologies to explore and the simulated market conditions accurately reflect those of live accounts.

MT4 Demo Account

Demo Accounts vs Live Accounts

The key difference between a demo account and a real or live account is that a demo account is a simulation. The conditions of a demo account accurately reflect live markets but there is no exchange of money, meaning zero risk and zero cash profits.

Demo accounts often have limitations that live accounts do not. There is usually a set period for which they can be used, whereas a live forex account offers unlimited use. Some demo accounts also have a reduced trading platform and instrument offering. Having said that, not all demo accounts operate in the same way – you can open some forex and futures demo accounts without time limits, for example.

Benefits Of Demo Accounts

The primary benefit of a demo account is that it is risk-free. They are also normally free to open and operate. Most brokers credit accounts with virtual funds and there is usually no sign-up charge. In addition, demo accounts are quick to set up and traders can easily upgrade to a real account when ready. Given their simplicity, they are also great for beginners looking to develop strategies and get to grips with the financial markets before putting money on the line.

How To Open Demo Accounts

Registering for a demo account is quick and simple:

  1. Find a broker that you would like to open an account with
  2. Head to the demo account tab on the broker’s website
  3. Enter your personal details including name/username, email, telephone number and country of residence
  4. Once you’ve received registration confirmation, use the login credentials to open the platform and start trading

Note, the details needed to open a demo account in the UK vary.

MetaTrader Demo Account

Best Demo Account Reviews

Finding the right demo account largely depends on what you’re looking for. With that said, there are a number of popular demo accounts offered by leading online trading brokers:

  • eToro – A multi-asset platform offering $100,000 in virtual cash to trade stocks, forex, CFDs and cryptos
  • IC Markets – The demo account supports a range of instruments along with the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms. The broker also offers demo contests and competitions with real cash available for withdrawals.
  • iFOREX – $5,000 in virtual funds is provided to test the broker’s trading tools, including the iFOREX analytics mobile app.
  • IG – Access 17,000 markets, including leveraged CFDs and spread betting. The key difference between the demo account vs the live account is that demo trades are not subject to slippage, interest or dividend adjustments. Also, trial chart packages are free and demo trades aren’t closed to cover margin and running losses.
  • XM – Simulate trading on forex, stocks, easy equities and commodities. To open a demo account with XM, head to the ‘open an account’ tab on the broker’s website and follow the setup and login instructions.
  • NinjaTrader – Open a free demo account with NinjaTrader to access futures, forex, equities and more. NinjaTrader works alongside supported brokers including Interactive Brokers, TD Ameritrade and data providers such as TradeStation, IQ Feed and eSignal. You can also trial the proprietary NinjaTrader 7&8 platforms.

While not built into the list above, other good options include 24Option, Olymp Trade, HYCM, Questrade, FXCM, Exness, Tickmill, Saxo, InstaForex, Binance, Videforex, Hantec, ETrade, Degiro, FxPro, HotForex, Hugosway, Trading 212, FBS, OctaFX, XTrade and AvaTrade.

Demo Account Support

For any issues, such as you’ve forgotten your demo account password or for problems with servers that are not working, contact the respective broker’s UK customer support team. For issues with MetaTrader 4 (MT4) or MetaTrader 5 (MT5) downloads and setups, speak to the MetaTrader support team if the broker’s customer services cannot help.

Final Word On Demo Accounts

Demo accounts are a great, risk-free way for traders to explore a broker’s services. They also offer a hassle-free means to refine forex strategies, test stock ECN trading, or practice leveraged Bitcoin trading. However, not all demo accounts are created equal so do your research.

When you’re ready to upgrade to live trading, check out our list of the best brokers.