Low-cost index funds UK

This is our list of low-cost index funds and ETFs that’s kept updated to enable investors to find the cheapest index trackers available in the UK.

Low-cost index funds UK

You can select from these funds to build a diversified portfolio that, as part of a passive investing strategy, will help you achieve your investing objectives.

We focus on value and cost in this list because crushing charges is a core component of wise investing. Every pound you save in fees is a pound that snowballs over the years and speeds you towards your financial goals.

Our piece on management fees explains how even small savings add up to a big difference.

The growing recognition of the importance of investment fees has driven explosive growth in low-cost index funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) over the past 20 years.

These two types of index tracker are the best value investment vehicles available in the UK and the right choice for passive investors.

Low-cost index funds UK – the Total Cost of Ownership

Our cheapest tracker fund UK list is divided into the key sub-asset classes you may wish to invest in.

The picks per asset class are ranked by their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

The TCO is the sum of a fund’s transaction costs and its Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF).

Many outlets will only reveal a fund’s OCF (or Total Expense Ratio) but that misses out a significant chunk of cost embodied by its less well publicised transaction cost figure.

Transaction costs are the fees and taxes that all investment funds inevitably incur when trading their underlying assets.

We think it’s important to include transaction costs when considering your shortlist because these charges can rival the OCF in particular sub-asset classes.

Note: fund costs are a complex and confusing area so we’ve got a few more notes about fees after the main list below.

In the meantime, let’s go grab some bargains!

UK large cap equity


  • Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Unit Trust (GB00B3X7QG63) TCO 0.06% (OCF 0.06%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • HSBC FTSE All Share Index Fund Institutional (GB0030334345) TCO 0.07% (OCF 0.02%, Transaction 0.05%)
  • Lyxor Core UK Equity All Cap ETF (LCUK) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.04%, Transaction 0.06%)
  • Fidelity Index UK Fund P (GB00BJS8SF95) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.06%, Transaction 0.04%)
  • L&G UK Equity ETF (LGUK) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.05%, Transaction 0.07%)

The L&G ETF has an ESG remit.

UK mid cap equity


  • Amundi Prime UK Mid and Small Cap ETF (PRUK) TCO 0.05% (OCF 0.05%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • HSBC FTSE 250 Index Fund C (GB00B80QG052) TCO 0.19% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.09%)
  • Vanguard FTSE 250 ETF (VMIG) TCO 0.22% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.12%)
  • Xtrackers FTSE 250 ETF (XMCX) TCO 0.24% (OCF 0.16%, Transaction 0.08%)

The Amundi index tracker is streets ahead of its rivals due to Morningstar’s report of zero transaction costs. We’ve requested verification from Amundi.

UK small cap equity

There are no good low-cost index funds available for the UK small cap asset class. The iShares ETF listed below is more an expensive FTSE 250 tracker. Our other suggestions are active funds and are shown as a selection of what’s available rather than a comprehensive survey.


  • Schroder Institutional UK Smaller Companies Fund (GB0007893984) TCO 0.53% (OCF 0.51%, Transaction 0.02%)

Next best

  • iShares MSCI UK Small Cap ETF (CUKS) TCO 0.58% (OCF 0.58%, Transaction 0%)
  • Baillie Gifford British Smaller Companies B Fund (GB0005931356) TCO 0.73% (OCF 0.73%, Transaction 0%)
  • L&G UK Smaller Companies Fund (GB00B7LFF300) TCO 0.79% (OCF 0.78%, Transaction 0.01%)

UK equity income


  • Vanguard FTSE UK Equity Income Index Fund (GB00B59G4H82) TCO 0.29% (OCF 0.14%, Transaction 0.15%)

Next best

  • WisdomTree UK Equity Income ETF (WUKD) TCO 0.35% (OCF 0.29%, Transaction 0.06%)
  • SPDR S&P UK Dividend Aristocrats ETF (UKDV) TCO 0.64% (OCF 0.3%, Transaction 0.34%)

Global equity – developed world and emerging markets (All-World)


  • HSBC FTSE All-World Index Fund C (GB00BMJJJF91) TCO 0.13% (OCF 0.13%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (SSAC) TCO 0.20% (OCF 0.2%, Transaction 0%)
  • Fidelity Allocator World Fund W (GB00B9777B62) TCO 0.21% (OCF 0.2%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity Fund (GB00B41XG308) TCO 0.23%(OCF 0.22%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • Vanguard ESG Global All Cap ETF (V3AB) TCO 0.31% (OCF 0.24%, Transaction 0.07%)

Vanguard LifeStrategy and Fidelity Allocator invest in other index trackers. Fidelity invests in REITs and small caps.

World equity – developed world only


  • Amundi Prime Global ETF (PRWU) TCO 0.05% (OCF 0.05%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • L&G Global Equity ETF (LGGG) TCO 0.11% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • Lyxor Core MSCI World ETF (LCWL) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)
  • SPDR MSCI World ETF (SWLD) TCO 0.13% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • iShares Developed World Index Fund D (IE00BD0NCL49) TCO 0.12%(OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)
  • Fidelity Index World Fund P (GB00BJS8SJ34) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)

The L&G ETF has an ESG remit.

World ex-UK equity


  • L&G International Index Trust I Fund (GB00B2Q6HW61) TCO 0.14% (OCF 0.13%, Transaction 0.01%)

Next best

  • Vanguard FTSE Dev World ex-UK Equity Index Fund (GB00B59G4Q73) TCO 0.15% (OCF 0.14%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • Aviva Investors International Index Tracking SC2 Fund (GB00B2NRNX53) TCO 0.25% (OCF 0.25%, Transaction 0%)

You can also pick ‘n’ mix using individual US, Europe ex-UK, Japan, and Pacific ex-Japan trackers.

World income equity


  • Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield ETF (VHYG) TCO 0.37% (OCF 0.29%, Transaction 0.08%)

Next best

  • iShares MSCI World Quality Dividend ESG ETF (WQDA) TCO 0.38% (OCF 0.38%, Transaction 0%)
  • Fidelity Global Quality Income ETF (FGQD) TCO 0.43% (OCF 0.4%, Transaction 0.03%)
  • WisdomTree Global Quality Dividend Growth ETF (GGRG) TCO 0.43% (OCF 0.38%, Transaction 0.05%)
  • Vanguard Global Equity Income Fund (GB00BZ82ZW98) TCO 0.58% (OCF 0.48%, Transaction 0.1%)

The Vanguard fund is active but gives you a non-ETF option.

World small cap equity


  • UBS (Irl) ETF – MSCI World Small Cap Socially Responsible (WSCR) TCO 0.3% (OCF 0.23%, Transaction 0.07%)

Next best

  • Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund (IE00B3X1NT05) TCO 0.34% (OCF 0.3%, Transaction 0.04%)
  • iShares MSCI World Small Cap ETF (WLDS) TCO 0.35% (OCF 0.35%, Transaction 0%)
  • SPDR MSCI World Small Cap ETF (WOSC) TCO 0.47% (OCF 0.45%, Transaction 0.02%)

Emerging markets equity


  • Amundi Prime Emerging Markets ETF (PRAM) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • Lyxor MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (LEMA) TCO 0.17% (OCF 0.17%, Transaction 0%)
  • HSBC MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (HMEC) TCO 0.21% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0.06%)
  • Fidelity Index Emerging Markets Fund P (GB00BHZK8D21) TCO 0.21% (OCF 0.2%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • HSBC Emerging Market Sustainable Equity ETF (HSEF) TCO 0.29% (OCF 0.18%, Transaction 0.11%)

Multi-factor – Global


  • JPMorgan Global Equity Multi-Factor ETF (JPLG) TCO 0.22%(OCF 0.19%, Transaction 0.03%)

Next best

  • Invesco Quantitative Strategies ESG Global Equity Multi-Factor ETF (IQSA) TCO 0.3% (OCF 0.3%, Transaction 0%)
  • Invesco Global ex UK Enhanced Index Fund Y (GB00BZ8GWR50) TCO 0.34% (OCF 0.23%, Transaction 0.11%)
  • Franklin LibertyQ Global Equity SRI ETF (FLXG) TCO 0.4% (OCF 0.4%, Transaction 0%)
  • Amundi ETF Global Equity Multi Smart Allocation Scientific Beta ETF (SMRU) TCO 0.41% (OCF 0.4%, Transaction 0.01%)

All factor investing is effectively straying into active management territory. Essentially, you hope that your chosen subset of the market can outperform. The important thing is to choose products underpinned by sound financial theory, a verifiable set of rules, and a commitment to low costs.

Regional ETFs are available. But we’ve stuck to global multifactor products for broad diversification.

Property – UK


  • iShares UK Property ETF (IUKP) TCO 0.4% (OCF 0.4%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • iShares MSCI Target UK Real Estate ETF (UKRE) TCO 0.43% (OCF 0.4%, Transaction 0.03%)

No index fund alternative.

Property – global


  • iShares Global Property Securities Equity Index Fund D (GB00B5BFJG71) TCO 0.23% (OCF 0.17%, Transaction 0.06%)

Next best

  • Amundi ETF FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global ETF (EPRA) TCO 0.24% (OCF 0.24%, Transaction 0%)
  • VanEck Global Real Estate ETF (TREG) TCO 0.26% (OCF 0.25%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • L&G Global Real Estate Dividend Index Fund I (GB00BYW7CN38) TCO 0.27% (OCF 0.22%, Transaction 0.05%)
  • Northern Trust Developed Real Estate ESG Index Fund (NL00150003F8) TCO 0.31% (OCF 0.28%, Transaction 0.03%)

There’s an unusual 1% exit fee on the Northern Trust fund. It’s also Dutch domiciled so watch out for withholding tax.



  • L&G All Commodities ETF (BCOM) TCO 0.15% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • iShares Diversified Commodity Swap ETF (COMM) TCO 0.26% (OCF 0.19%, Transaction 0.07%)
  • iShares Bloomberg Enhanced Roll Yield Commodity Swap ETF (ROLL) TCO 0.28% (OCF 0.28%, Transaction 0%)
  • WisdomTree Broad Commodities ETF (COMX) TCO 0.37% (OCF 0.29%, Transaction 0.08%)



  • Amundi Physical Gold ETC (GLDA) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)
  • Invesco Physical Gold A ETC (SGLP) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)
  • WisdomTree Core Physical Gold ETC (GLDW) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)
  • Xtrackers IE Physical Gold ETC (XGDU) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)

Gold trackers are Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs).

UK Government bonds – intermediate


  • Invesco UK Gilts ETF (GLTA) TCO 0.06% (OCF 0.06%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • Lyxor Core UK Government Bond ETF (GILS) TCO 0.08% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • Vanguard UK Gilt ETF (VGVA) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0.03%)
  • Fidelity Index UK Gilt Fund P (GB00BMQ57G79) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0%)
  • iShares GiltTrak Index Fund (IE00BD0NC250) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.02%)

UK Government bonds – long


  • Vanguard UK Long-Duration Gilt Index Fund (GB00B4M89245) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 15+ Year Gilt ETF (GLTL) TCO 0.16% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • iShares Over 15 Years Gilts Index Fund (GB00BF338G29) TCO 0.16% (OCF 0.16%, Transaction 0%)

UK Government bonds – short


  • Invesco UK Gilt 1-5 Year ETF (GLT5) TCO 0.06% (OCF 0.06%, Transaction 0%)
  • L&G UK Gilt 0-5 Year ETF (UKG5) TCO 0.06% (OCF 0.06%, Transaction 0%)

Next best

  • Goldman Sachs Access UK Gilts 1-10 Years ETF (GIL5) TCO 0.07% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0%)
  • iShares UK Gilts 0-5 ETF (IGLS) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0.03%)
  • JPMorgan BetaBuilders UK Gilt 1-5 yr ETF (JG15) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0.03%)

The Goldman Sachs ETF has a longer bond duration than the other short-dated funds in this section, but it’s not quite an intermediate fund.

UK Government bonds – index-linked


  • Lyxor Core UK Government Inflation-Linked Bond ETF (GILI) TCO 0.08% (OCF 0.07%, Transaction 0.01%)

Next best

  • Vanguard UK Inflation Linked Gilt Index Fund (GB00B45Q9038) TCO 0.13% (OCF 0.12%, Transaction 0.01%)
  • iShares £ Index-Linked Gilts ETF (INXG) TCO 0.14% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.04%)
  • L&G All Stocks Index Linked Gilt Index Trust I (GB00B84QXT94) TCO 0.15% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0%)

UK index-linked funds may not be suitable for your portfolio due to embedded real interest risk. We’ve switched our Slow and Steady portfolio to a short duration global index-linked fund hedged to GBP. See below.

Global inflation-linked bonds hedged to £


  • Lyxor Core Global Inflation-Linked 1-10Y Bond ETF (GISG) TCO 0.22% (OCF 0.2%, Transaction 0.02%)

Next best

  • iShares Global Inflation Linked Government Bond ETF (GILG) TCO 0.24% (OCF 0.2%, Transaction 0.04%)
  • L&G Global Inflation Linked Bond Index Fund I (GB00BBHXNN27) TCO 0.27% (OCF 0.23%, Transaction 0.04%)
  • Xtrackers Global Inflation Linked Bond ETF (XGIG) TCO 0.28% (OCF 0.25%, Transaction 0.03%)
  • Royal London Short Duration Global Index Linked Fund M (GB00BD050F05) TCO 0.27% (OCF 0.27%, Transaction 0%)

All are short and intermediate options, hedged back to Sterling. The Royal London fund is active.

Global government bonds hedged to £


  • Amundi Index JP Morgan GBI Global Govies ETF (GOVG) TCO 0.17% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0.02%)

Next best

  • HSBC Global Funds ICAV – Global Government Bond Index Fund – BDHGBP (IE00BDFD2S67) TCO 0.22% (OCF 0.22%, Transaction 0%)
  • iShares Global Govt Bond ETF (IGLH) TCO 0.25% (OCF 0.25%, Transaction 0%)
  • Xtrackers Global Government Bond ETF (XGSG) TCO 0.29% (OCF 0.25%, Transaction 0.04%)

All hedged back to Sterling. The HSBC fund invests in emerging markets but the allocation is unknown as it is highly opaque for an index fund. Proceed with caution.

Total global bonds hedged to £ (government and corporate)


  • Amundi Index Global Aggregate 500M ETF (AGHG) TCO 0.09% (OCF 0.08%, Transaction 0.01%)

Next best

  • iShares Core Global Aggregate Bond ETF (AGBP) TCO 0.1% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0%)
  • iShares Global Aggregate Bond ESG ETF (AEGG) TCO 0.12% (OCF 0.1%, Transaction 0.02%)
  • Vanguard Global Bond Index Fund (IE00B50W2R13) TCO 0.27% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0.12%)
  • Vanguard Global Short Term Bond Index Fund (IE00BH65QG55) TCO 0.29% (OCF 0.15%, Transaction 0.14%)

All hedged back to Sterling.

Using cheapest index funds UK list

You can precisely identify the low-cost index funds you’re after by using the ISIN codes or ETF tickers we provide in brackets. (This piece helps explain fund names.)

We’ve given the code for the accumulation fund, GBP-priced version where available. Income distributing versions are usually offered too.

This piece explains the ins and outs of accumulation vs income funds.

  • We’ve included an Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) index tracker option for each sub asset-class where available.
  • Actively managed funds are used when low-cost index funds are not available. Active funds are noted in the relevant sections.
  • We don’t show platform exclusive index trackers as they’re generally not a good deal overall.

Cheap index trackers and costs – extra detail

The bid-offer spread is an additional cost you may incur that isn’t captured by the TCO figure above.

This charge shouldn’t be significant for most passive investors anyway but you can gauge it by using the estimated spread published by Hargreaves Lansdown on its fund pages.

The final significant cost you’ll pay are broker fees – we track those on our broker comparison table.

Watch out for FX fees charged by brokers on certain funds. This is something of a stealth cost that’s quite avoidable.

Some providers of synthetic ETFs publish a ‘swap fee’ on top of the TER. Just add the swap fee to the TER to get the Ongoing Charge Figure. This is how we’ve treated swap fees in the listing above.

It’s worth knowing that a fund’s transaction costs can fluctuate quite a lot from period to period, especially if there’s excessive turnover in the fund’s index.

So don’t feel like you instantly need to switch if your fund’s transaction costs suddenly spike.

Keep your fund, and its main rivals, under review for up to a year before coming to any definitive conclusions about its competitiveness.

Some index trackers register negative transaction costs but I’ve disregarded that from the TCO calculations above. That’s because negative transaction costs amount to an accounting technique that’s not sustainable over time.

Low-cost index funds UK – fees to ignore

Ignore a fund’s Annual Management Charge (AMC). The AMC is a very old-fashioned fee metric that excludes important fund costs.

This is why a fund’s AMC is typically lower than its OCF or TER.

Do not add the AMC to the OCF or TER.

The OCF and TER are interchangeable, so choose one of those costs (the highest) and add it to the fund’s transaction cost to calculate its TCO.

Treat negative transaction costs as zero.

Ignore entry and exit charges for index trackers where you see them mentioned in fund literature such as Key Investor Information Documents.

These fees do not apply to ordinary investors like you and I. They’re levied on institutional participants dealing directly with the fund provider.

The same goes if you see an eye-watering minimum purchase figure (such as £100,000) to buy into a fund.

Be guided by your broker’s minimum purchase amount.

Final thoughts on low-cost index funds and ETFs

There’s often little to distinguish index trackers that are closely matched in price. However we have previously written a few pieces to help you resolve tie-breaker situations:

  • Comparing funds
  • Why tracking difference is important
  • How to choose index trackers
  • Best global tracker funds
  • How to choose a bond fund
  • Best bond funds

If you’re looking for the cheapest place to buy and hold your low-cost index funds then take a look at our broker comparison table.

Our article on designing your own asset allocation will help you construct your own portfolio. If you want a quick shortcut, you can do a lot worse than checking out our best multi-asset fund picks for an instant portfolio solution.

We update this list periodically. Quoted TCOs may date, as fund groups fight their turf wars by undercutting each other (hurrah!) but this article should still prove an excellent starting point for your research.

If anyone comes across any better index tracker options I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

Note: Some comments below may refer to an older collection of low-cost index trackers. Scroll down for the latest thoughts.

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