Best stocks and shares ISA in the UK

We’ve tested stocks and shares ISA accounts from some of the best investing platforms in the UK.

Best S&S ISAs by category See the list

For UK investors, using a stocks and shares ISA is a bit of a no-brainer. It allows you to invest as you would normally, but any potential gains or dividends are shielded from the taxman. Any money you take out of your ISA won’t count as income either, so it’s a fantastic wealth-building tool.

Once you’ve learnt about the glorious benefits of ISAs, the next step is choosing the best stocks and shares ISA to suit your goals. We’ve tested more than 15 platforms offering investment ISAs and here are our top picks.

Our top picks for stocks and shares ISA platforms

Best for low fees
InvestEngine stocks and shares ISA logo
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Capital at risk. T&Cs apply.
£25 welcome bonus
DIY and ready made portfolios
Easy to use
No extra cost for a S&S ISA
Best for customer satisfaction
Hargreaves Lansdown stocks and shares ISA logo
Finder Award
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Capital at risk. T&Cs apply.
93% would recommend
No commissions for funds
Expert research and insights
Low 0.45% fee for ISA
Best for number of investments
interactive investor stocks and shares ISA logo
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Capital at risk. T&Cs apply.
Flat monthly fee
40,000+ investments
Ready-made ISA portfolios

Best stocks and shares ISAs in the UK, June 2024

Our top pick for ETFs

IG logo
4.1 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

When it comes to exchange-traded funds (ETFs), IG is hard to beat.

ETFs let you invest in a whole basket full of stocks with one single investment. This gives you some automatic diversity and it can reduce your commissions by trading less than if you were investing in individual stocks and shares.

The IG share dealing ISA lets you choose from over 5,000 ETFs. So there’s plenty of options for you to stick your teeth into. One thing to be aware of is that with IG, more is better. The investing commissions drop drastically if you make 3 or more investments each month (and this also wipes out the quarterly custody fee of £24).

Our top pick for US shares

CMC Invest logo
4.4 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

CMC burst onto the UK investing scene in late 2022, and it's come a long way. We selected CMC Invest as our best stocks and shares ISA for US shares because you invest in over 3,000 US stocks commission-free.

On top of this, you can also hold a USD currency account to help lower your FX fees and deal with less currency fluctuations. The CMC Invest app also has plenty of other features for ISA investors like 2% uncapped interest on cash, ESG ratings, and analyst ratings.

When trying out the flexible CMC Invest ISA, the only major downside is that it costs £10 per month as part of the “Plus” plan. This could provide good value if you’ve built up a large ISA portfolio over the years, but it’s more expensive than some other providers for smaller portfolios.

Our top pick for low fees

InvestEngine logo
4.4 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

We chose InvestEngine because when it comes to low fees, it’s hard to beat free.

InvestEngine is a platform that only lets you invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which is limiting. But for those of you who want to build an ETF portfolio, it costs nothing to open and hold a DIY stocks and shares ISA with InvestEngine. There’s also no commission when buying or selling ETFs.

Although the DIY option is free (where you choose investments yourself), there is a 0.25% fee if you want an expertly managed portfolio. However, this fee is competitive with most other robo-advisors and platforms offering ready-made portfolios.

Our top pick for customer satisfaction

Hargreaves Lansdown logo
4.2 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

We surveyed customers of the major platforms in the UK and Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) was top for customer satisfaction, making it a winner in the 2023 Finder Share Dealing Customer Satisfaction Awards.

86% of respondents in our survey said they’d recommend HL to a friend. It’s known for great service and great features - none of which comes cheap. Also, it’s worth pointing out that this research was carried out based on the overall service (it wasn’t ISA specific).

Our top pick for 0% commission

Trading212 logo
4.7 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

We chose Trading 212 because along with charging no commission to buy or sell over 12,000 global stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), it offers some additional noteworthy features.

It’s free to open and hold a Trading 212 stocks and shares ISA and you can invest in fractional shares with as little as £1, and the 0.15% foreign exchange (FX) fee is one of the lowest on the market.

There are also some useful social features like “Pie” (what Trading 212 calls portfolios) copying and the Social Feed, which lets you see what other investors paying no commission are up to.

Our top pick for beginners

Freetrade logo
4.4 ★★★★★
Finder Score
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Capital at risk

We chose Freetrade as our best stocks and shares ISA for beginners because it’s simple to set up an account and the app is excellent.

Another great thing about the Freetrade investment ISA is that there’s no commission for buying or selling stocks and you can invest with as little as £2.

Experienced investors might find the Freetrade ISA to be too simplistic, but we think that for beginners, it will hit the mark. There’s over 6,000 stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to choose from and the flat fee structure means you pay the same amount no matter how big your portfolio grows.

Our top pick for investment choice

interactive investor logo
4.2 ★★★★★
Finder Score
Go to site
Capital at risk

Whether you’re looking for a wide range of assets, thousands of stocks to choose from, ready-made portfolios, or access to loads of ethical options - interactive investor (ii) has you covered.

We picked this as our best stocks and shares ISA for investment choice because it has an unparalleled selection of assets (over 40,000). Also, instead of leaving you to flounder within its supersize investment pool, ii does an excellent job providing insights and research to help you find the right assets for your goals.

The only drawback with ii is that the share dealing commissions are higher than some other options and the flat monthly fee for the plans will be best value if you’ve a large portfolio.

Our top pick for ready-made portfolios

Nutmeg logo
3.5 ★★★★★
Finder Score
Read review
Capital at risk

If you don’t want to pick your own ISA investments, robo-advisors like Nutmeg will build and manage a portfolio for you.

Nutmeg was one of the original robo-advisors to hit the UK, and it has the widest choice of ready-made investment options we’ve seen.

In total, there are 30 portfolios to choose from across a range of risk levels and investing styles (fixed allocation, socially responsible, fully managed, smart alpha). The major drawback with Nutmeg is that the fees are slightly higher than some other robo-advisor ISAs.

Our top pick for index funds

Vanguard logo
3.9 ★★★★★
Finder Score
Read review
Capital at risk

We picked Vanguard as our best stocks and shares ISA for index funds because not only did Vanguard invent the whole concept of index funds, its ISA also has a low annual percentage cost of 0.15%.

There are around 75 fund options, ranging from broad index-tracking funds, to newer additions like target date retirement funds, LifeStrategy funds (a fund made up of multiple funds), and ESG index funds - covering both equities and bonds.

You can pick your own funds with the Vanguard ISA, or if you prefer, you can opt for the Vanguard Managed ISA. With this, the expert team will pick and manage a portfolio for an added fee of 0.3%, which is cheaper than many robo-advisors.

Whether you go for the Managed ISA or not, the key downside with Vanguard ISAs is that you’re limited to Vanguard funds only, and you can’t buy individual stocks or other investments.

How are US investments taxed in an ISA?

George Sweeney

Finder expert George Sweeney answers

Using a stocks and shares ISA usually means that you can invest tax-free – but there is an exception.

When you buy US stocks using your investment ISA, you won’t have to pay any capital gains or dividend tax in the UK. However, if your US stock pays dividends, a withholding tax (WHT) of 15% will automatically apply.

There’s nothing you need to do about this and your provider will take care of it for you but it’s worth being aware of this when people say that you pay absolutely zero tax on investments held in stocks and shares ISAs. This is true for UK investments, but you may still have to pay a little to Uncle Sam in the US.

Can you have more than one stocks and shares ISA?

Yes, but this is only due to recent changes made to the ISA rules in April 2024. Previously, you could only open and pay into one stocks and shares ISA each tax year. Now, the floodgates have opened and you have the flexibility to open more than one stocks and shares ISA, and as many as your heart (or wallet) desires.

Best trading app providers for customer satisfaction 2024

We asked people who’d used a share dealing platform within the previous 12 months to rate their satisfaction with the service they received and whether they’d recommend the provider to a friend. Our independent survey of 750 share dealing customers was carried out in December 2023.

We have shown both survey results for the brands listed in the table below and used these ratings to decide the winners of our awards. Where there was a draw on the satisfaction score, we used the “would recommend” percentage as a tie-breaker.

RankTrading appOverall satisfactionWould recommend
1Hargreaves Lansdown★★★★★97%
1InvestEngine★★★★★97%
2XTB★★★★★100%
3Revolut★★★★★96%
4eToro★★★★★93%
5Trading 212★★★★★90%
6AJ Bell★★★★★95%
7Fidelity★★★★★93%
8interactive investor★★★★★91%
9Vanguard★★★★★90%
10Barclays★★★★★87%
11Bestinvest★★★★★91%
12Nutmeg★★★★★87%
13Wealthify★★★★★85%
14Freetrade★★★★★83%
15Moneybox★★★★★79%
16IG★★★★★87%

Next steps once you’ve found the best investment ISA

Once you’ve decided on the right investing platform to hold your stocks and shares ISA, the next step is to sign up and open a share trading account.

To make the process as smooth as possible, you’ll want to have your bank and personal details to hand (including your NI number). Some of the best trading apps will be able to get you up and running within minutes, but some may take a little longer.

If you’re looking to make your first investment but don’t know where to start, we have an investing for beginners hub with plenty of guides for first-time investors like you.

Frequently asked questions

The value of investments can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. A stocks and shares ISA may not be right for everyone and tax rules may change in the future. If you are unsure if an ISA is the right choice for you, please seek independent financial advice.

Written by

George Sweeney, DipFA

George is a deputy editor at Finder. He has previously written for The Motley Fool UK, Nasdaq, Freetrade, Investing in the Web, MoneyMagpie, Online Mortgage Advisor, Wealth, and Compare Forex Brokers. He's focused on making personal finance and investing engaging for everyone. To do this he draws from previous work and his Level 4 Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA), sharing what he’s learnt. When he’s not geeking out about money, you’ll find him playing sports and staying active. See full profile

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