Best Automated Trading Platforms UK

Automated trading, also called algorithmic trading, outsources the work of opening and closing your positions to a software program or ‘trading robot’. Rather than manually managing your trades, the trading bot acts on your behalf, buying and selling under specific market conditions.

It’s a popular form of trading forex and CFDs, but how do you choose the best trading platform for your needs and experience level? We’ve reviewed the top auto trading platforms in the UK based on their trading tools, execution speeds, spreads and other key factors. Our holistic approach goes beyond trading costs to evaluate the entire automated trading experience.

Here, according to our research, are the best automated trading platforms in the UK:

  1. Pepperstone - Best Automated Trading Platform Overall
  2. OANDA - Top Expert Advisor Tools For Automation With MT4
  3. eToro - Great Social Trading App With AI Automation
  4. AvaTrade - Good Expert Advisor Tools With MT5
  5. FXCM - For Automation Beginners
  6. IG Group - Fully Automated Trading With ProRealTime
  7. Eightcap - Automate Trading Strategies With TradingView

The brokers we’ve profiled here are all licensed by the UK’s primary financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Established by Parliament in 2013 to protect the integrity of British markets, the FCA monitors and oversees online brokers and other financial services providers.

Brokers that fail to adhere to strict standards of conduct can face fines and other penalties, so you can feel confident depositing funds in your trading account.

Another benefit to FCA regulation? FCA-regulated brokers are part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which can help you recover losses that arise from broker misconduct.

1. Pepperstone - Best Automated Trading Platform Overall

Founded in Melbourne in 2010, Pepperstone has been offering services to UK traders since 2015. In addition to the FCA, this broker holds licenses from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Cypress Securities and Cyprus Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany (BaFIN).

Automated Trading with Pepperstone

When it comes to trading platforms - and the automated trading tools that go with them - Pepperstone easily tops the list. The broker offers a choice of four platforms, each with its own unique value proposition for algorithmic traders.

Pepperstone is, first and foremost, a MetaTrader broker and this platform is one of the top choices for automation thanks to its Expert Advisors (EAs).  EAs are powerful trading bots that monitor financial markets using algorithms and can either alert you to trading opportunities or automatically open or close your trading positions. You can either buy ready-made EAs (some of which are free) or create your own and even create your own custom indicators. MT4 has a larger collection of bots available in the marketplace, while MT5 has more built-in indicators.

If MT4 or MT5 is not for you, Pepperstone also offers cTrader. This program is designed especially for ECN-style trading, making it a good choice for algorithmic trading. Based on the widely known programming language C#, the platform’s cAutomate integrates natively with the platform to allow your custom-coded trading algorithms and indicators easy access to the markets via an API.

While not necessarily suitable for beginners, the cTrader interface will appeal to experienced traders who need a highly customised setup with powerful technical analysis tools.

For copy trading, Pepperstone offers an app developed in partnership with Pelican Trading. Download the Copy Trading by Pepperstone app, connect it to your Pepperstone MetaTrader trading account and set your parameters to find the best signals for your strategy. 

You also have the option to automate your copy trading with DupliTrade. Similar to eToro (reviewed below) the DupliTrade platform allows you to copy the positions of carefully selected, proven traders. You can filter by trading strategy, risk profile and preferred markets to select a professional investor that matches your needs.

Trading Accounts and Markets

Pepperstone follows a classic account structure with two types of accounts for CFD traders: Standard and Razor. The Standard account is commission-free and has a minimum spread of 1.0 pips for most major currency pairs. On the other hand, the Razor account has lower spreads and a commission-based fee structure. Spreads start from 0.0 pips for major currency pairs.

We tested each broker’s published spreads against real-time averages over a 24-hour period and found that, for the EUR/USD currency pair, Pepperstone’s Standard account posted spreads averaging 1.12 pips, while the Razor account averaged 0.10 pips.

Another stand-out feature worth mentioning: Pepperstone’s execution speeds. We evaluated broker efficiency by opening real money accounts and using MetaTrader 4 EAs to place identical, simultaneous limit and market orders.

The Argus:

Pepperstone executed limit orders in approximately 77ms and market orders in approximately 100ms on average. Compare those numbers to the industry averages of 132.5 ms and 139.5 ms, and it’s clear this broker delivers when it comes to speed.

Pepperstone offers a wide range of trading products, including over 1,000 share CFDs, 25 commodities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and indices. You can trade 62 currency pairs, including majors, minors, and exotic crosses.

Our Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a great all-around broker with fast execution speeds, competitive spreads, and tools to support multiple automated trading strategies, Pepperstone is a great pick.

2. OANDA - Top Expert Advisor Tools For Automation With MT4

American broker OANDA has been pioneering online trading technologies since 1996 but only entered the UK retail investing scene in 2011. A highly trusted broker, OANDA holds licenses from nine regulators worldwide, including ASIC, the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organisation (CIRO) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the United States.

Automated Trading with OANDA

While the broker’s own platform, OANDATrade, supports automated trading through its integration with TradingView, we were more impressed with the broker’s MetaTrader 4 offering and its expanded selection of trading bots.

The world’s most popular forex trading platform, MetaTrader 4, boasts an impressive selection of 950 built-in trading robots called Expert Advisers (EAs). If you opt for OANDA’s MT4 Premium package of add-ons, you’ll gain an additional 28 trading tools and technical indicators.

Users also have the option to purchase a custom-coded trading algorithm from an experienced developer through the MetaQuotes Marketplace. Finally, those with the patience and the technical aptitude can code their own bots using the MQL4 programming language.

Other advantages of automated trading with MetaTrader 4 include the ability to backtest your automated trading strategies using the Strategy Tester tool and OANDA’s extensive historical data.

Trading Accounts and Markets

OANDA strives for simplicity in its pricing and fee structure. The broker offers only one retail investor account: a spread-only, commission-free Standard account with variable spreads starting at 0.6 pips.

While raw spread accounts have a reputation for tighter spreads and lower trading costs, OANDA achieved impressive results during our independent testing. To evaluate broker spreads, we opened live accounts and tracked high, low, and average spreads for the major currency pairs over a 24-hour period.

The Argus:

OANDA’s posted average spreads across the five most popular currency pairs were just 0.7 pips - 74% lower than the industry average. Our tested results for the EUR/USD pair were equally impressive, with OANDA offering 1.06 pips compared to the industry average of 1.24.

OANDA offers 68 currency pairs and CFDs across the indices, commodities, and bond asset classes for UK traders to experiment with.

Our Final Verdict

With low spreads on the major currency pairs and an excellent selection of EAs for the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, OANDA should satisfy budget-conscious traders passionate about forex.

3. eToro - Great Social Trading App With AI Automation

eToro has been offering best-in-class social and copy trading tools to British traders since 2013, but its history dates back to Tel Aviv in 2007 when three developers joined forces to develop a copy trading platform. Nowadays, eToro holds licenses from three Tier-1 regulators: ASIC, CySEC and the FCA.

Automated Trading with eToro

Well known for its social and copy trading tools designed to make forex and CFD trading accessible to casual investors without the inclination for technical analysis, eToro continues to develop innovative automated trading solutions.

In 2023, the broker partnered with British startup Bridgewave to offer an AI-powered portfolio of US stocks. It’s an upgrade on eToro’s existing SmartPotfolio feature, which bundles complementary or themed assets into a single portfolio that traders can follow in a single click. Usually, human analysts select the trading products for a SmartPortfolio with an assist from machine learning. With InvestorAI-US, however, AI does all the picking.

And, of course, there’s eToro’s foundational automated trading product: Copy Trader. With a social media look and feel, Copy Trader makes browsing its vetted professional traders, called Popular Investors, feel like scrolling through Facebook. The interface does a great job of demystifying the investment process and makes it easy for a casual trader to identify PIs whose strategies and values align with their trading goals. One click of the big green ‘Copy’ button, and you’re all set. 

Trading Accounts and Markets

If you choose to trade with eToro, you'll use a commission-free Standard account with variable spreads starting from 1.0 pips. According to our tests, the broker averaged 1.30 pips across the major currency pairs, beating the industry average of 1.52 pips.

That said, it's important to consider each currency pair separately. While the industry average for the GBP/USD pair is 1.57 pips, eToro averaged 2.0 pips. That's a 32% increase.

eToro offers a decent range of trading assets, although not the most extensive or diversified. While it stands out globally for having the most cryptocurrency CFDs available for trading, UK FCA regulations restrict crypto trading to professionals only.

You can, however, try your hand at trading stocks, ETFs, and more than 32 different commodities. However, Forex traders may find the selection of currency pairs somewhat limited; the broker offers just 55 pairs to trade.

Our Final Verdict

A top social trading platform with some of the most innovative automated trading functionalities on the market, eToro has a lot to offer casual and beginner traders. If you’re looking for low trading fees and flexible trading tools, however, you might find eToro somewhat wanting.

4. AvaTrade - Good Expert Advisor Tools With MT5

Available to traders in the UK since 2009, Dublin-based AvaTrade has 15 years of experience in the online trading industry. Another highly regulated broker, AvaTrade has licenses from ASIC, CIRO, and CySEC.

Automated Trading with AvaTrade

A flexible broker, AvaTrade supports both types of automated trading systems. For those who like to outsource manual trading activities to algorithms, it offers a choice between the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and their selection of EAs. It’s actually one of the best MT4 brokers in the UK, but we’re more impressed with its stand-alone AvaSocial app for social trading.

A mobile app available for both Android and iOS operating systems, AvaSocial aims to make copy and social trading as portable and straightforward as possible. Account holders have the option to either share strategies and advice across a curated network of like-minded investors or copy the moves of high-performing traders.  The built-in chat function makes it easy to communicate directly with other users - even professionals.

We also like that AvaSocial relies on the same underlying technology as Pepperstone’s ‘Copy Trade with Pepperstone’ tool. Both brokers partnered with Pelican Trading to develop their copy trading infrastructure.

Trading Accounts and Markets

Like most of the other brokers in this roundup, AvaTrade limits all traders to a single account type that follows the commission-free, spread-only model. Variable minimum spreads start from 1.0 pips, and its tested EUR/USD spread of 9.0 pips compares well with other top brokers.

AvaTrade boasts an impressive collection of commodities CFDs, including ten 'soft' agricultural commodities, nine energies, and eight metals - the most among all the brokers reviewed here. You can also trade share CFDs, indices, and spot forex.

If you're curious about options trading for forex, AvaTrade allows you to buy and sell vanilla options via its AvaOptions platform. It's one of the few FCA-regulated brokers to offer this trading product.

Our Final Verdict

A solid broker with a good selection of auto trading tools, AvaTrade’s middling trading fees and complicated range of platforms make it a better choice for intermediate and experienced traders than for beginners.

The Argus:

5. FXCM - For Automation Beginners

Another American broker with a long history, FXCM has been around since 1999 and doing business in the UK since 2003. In addition to the FCA, the broker holds licenses from ASIC, CySEC, CIRO and BaFIN.

Automated Trading with

When it comes to specialist trading platforms and automated trading tools, FXCM goes above and beyond. In addition to MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, which have their own cadre of EAs, the broker’s own platform offers an impressive array of automated trading tools.

FXCM’s Trading Station includes a strategy optimiser powered by machine learning that provides instant feedback on your proposed trading strategy, as well as extensive forex backtesting.  We also like FXCM’s suite of market data resources and speciality trading apps for historical data downloads and market predictions.

Like Pepperstone, FXCM has teamed up with to offer account holders the opportunity to trade with bots—even if they have no coding knowledge. Using artificial intelligence, translates natural language inputs into a fully automated strategy. You describe the strategy that works for you based on your research, and the platform does the rest. It’s a great, user-friendly way for beginners to start trading with bots without having to commit to learning a programming language.

FXCM also offers three speciality trading platforms suited for experienced traders that support advanced algorithmic trading:


  • QuantConnect provides an integrated development environment traders can use to build and test complex automated trading systems and connect with sophisticated algo traders.
  • MotiveWave offers advanced charting with unusual chart types and also supports automated trading bots coded in Java.
  • AgenaTrader provides a multi-asset platform and professional trading environment with complex order types and automation in C#.


Trading Accounts and Markets

FXCM can claim reasonable trading costs on its Standard account with an average posted spread of 0.56 pips across the five major currency pairs. Be aware, however, that this broker requires a hefty minimum deposit to begin trading: £300.

Professional traders can also request an Active Trader account with FXCM. While this includes premium features, like VPS hosting, dedicated customer support, institutional trading ideas and depth of market views on Trading Station, it comes with a hefty price tag. The required minimum deposit is £25,000.

Although FXCM's range of markets is a bit limited compared to other brokers on this list, it covers its bases. There are 42 forex markets, 14 commodities, 16 indices, and a wide variety of stocks to choose from.

Our Final Verdict

Arguably the most automation-friendly broker on this list, FXCM’s selection of tools combines with competitive trading costs to make it an excellent choice for experienced traders.

6. IG Group - Fully Automated Trading With ProRealTime

London-based IG Group has been around since 1974, making it the oldest of the online brokers included in this list. It’s also one of the largest and best-known, with licenses from the FCA, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA), ASIC, BaFIN and CySEC, among others.

Automated Trading with IG Group

As one of the most well-established forex brokers in existence, it’s no surprise that IG Group has the resources to develop its own award-winning trading platform. IG Group’s web trader includes an API that allows advanced traders to connect their own custom-coded automations, integrations and trading tools natively.

IG Group is also the only UK forex broker that offers the ProRealTime trading platform. An online charting software geared towards technical analysis, ProRealTime combines advanced charts with the power of automation. Build your own algorithms inside the platform or connect a custom tool through its API. Once you’ve created your trading bot, ProRealTime offers 30 years of historical data for backtesting.

If you’re set on staying independent, you can also trade with IG Group on MetaTrader 4. Be aware, however, that you’ll have access to a much more limited selection of assets to trade. IG Group does try to sweeten the deal with an enhanced MT4 package that includes 18 free add-ons and indicators, but if you’re interested in IG Group for its 18,000 trading products, you’re probably better off sticking with the broker’s proprietary platform.

On the other hand, IG Group’s educational resources go a long way towards addressing the learning curve associated with MetaTrader EAs.  In addition to the broker’s comprehensive library of support materials, the IG Academy's free online trading courses cover topics like technical analysis, planning your exit, and other topics relevant to your automated trading.

Trading Accounts and Markets

IG Group's CFD Trading account operates like a standard account, with no commission for trading and low fixed spreads. In our tests, we found IG Group's average spreads for the five major currency pairs in line with expectations but nothing to write home about. With an average of 1.38 pips, IG Group managed to beat the industry average of 1.52, albeit not by much.

If your risk management strategy includes  guaranteed stop-loss orders, keep in mind that IG Group charges a small premium to set and execute this order type.

Whatever your preferred asset class or financial market, IG Group has something to offer. With over 18,000 tradable assets, including 98 forex pairs, 17,000 global stock CFDs, 80 stock indices, and 19 bond CFDs, it might be easier to list products the broker doesn’t offer.

Our Final Verdict

Truly a titan in the retail investing industry, IG Group has everything a trader could want - an award-winning trading platform, a vast collection of trading products and superior educational resources - all in one package.

7. Eightcap - Automate Trading Strategies With TradingView

Australian broker Eightcap was founded in 2009 but only became available in the UK in 2020, making it a relative newcomer to many British retail investors. In addition to the FCA, it’s regulated by CySEC and ASIC.

Automated Trading with Eightcap

Because Eightcap uses TradingView as its sole trading platform, automated trading gets a little tricky. A ‘social charting’ platform with an emphasis on trading from charts and sophisticated drawing tools, TradingView hasn’t yet jumped on the automation bandwagon.

TradingView does, however, connect with several third-party apps, such as ProfitView, that automate your trading. You can also use to develop the automation you need and activate it with signals from your TradingView account.

Alternatively, you can code the automation yourself in Pine Script, TradingView’s native language and connect it to your account using a series of webhooks. However, this setup requires some technical know-how and may not work well for those new to trading.

Trading Accounts and Markets

Eightcap offers a choice between a spread-only Standard account and a commission-based Raw account, both with admirably low trading fees.

The Standard account turned in a solid performance in our independent spreads test. Spreads surpassed industry averages for all major currency pairs, with the GBP/USD averaging 1.0 pips over a 24-hour period - 44% narrower than the industry average of 1.57. Similarly, the EUR/USD pair also performed exceptionally well, with only 1.0 pips compared to an industry average of 1.24.

Eightcap’s commission-based Raw account also offers competitive trading conditions according to our tests. It offers low spreads that meet or beat the industry average for all but one of the major currency pairs.

The Argus:

Eightcap can claim a decent selection of financial instruments, including 56 currency pairs for forex trading, 14 commodity CFDs, 500 stock CFDs, and 16 indices. However, compared to larger brokers, Eightcap has room for improvement. Moreover, the broker doesn't offer spread betting in the UK for ETF CFDs.

Our Final Verdict

Perhaps an unconventional choice owing to the lack of native automated trading tools, Eightcap deserves a place on this list for its overall excellent trading conditions and commitment to the TradingView platform.


Answers to your most frequently asked questions about automated trading.

What is automated trading?

Automated trading involves using computer programs known as algorithms or trading bots to open and close positions automatically based on predefined criteria set by the trader. Algorithmic trading has several technical advantages, including increased execution speed and better market analysis. Trading bots also operate 24/7 and don’t make emotional decisions when the market moves.

Is automated trading legal in the UK?

Yes, automated trading is legal in the UK. The FCA closely monitors brokerages and does not consider that algorithmic trading tools or trading bots threaten market integrity. 

Is automated trading profitable?

Yes, automated trading can be profitable, but it may take time before you begin to profit consistently. Much depends on your trading strategy and ability to predict market movements correctly. To help with your trading, use a quality Forex and CFD trading platform that can reliably execute your desired algorithms.

Is automated trading safe?

Yes, automated trading is safe, provided you trade with a regulated broker licensed by the FCA. While trading forex and CFDs and spread betting carry a high degree of inherent risk, trading with a regulated broker protects you from market manipulation, fraud and unethical use of your funds.