Geotechnical applications often involve large displacements of structural elements, such as penetrometers or footings, in soil. Three numerical analysis approaches capable of accounting for large deformations are investigated here: the implicit remeshing and interpolation technique by small strain (RITSS), an efficient Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian (EALE) implicit method and the Coupled Eulerian–Lagrangian (CEL) approach available as part of commercial software. The theoretical basis and implementation of the methods are discussed before their relative performance is evaluated through four benchmark cases covering static, dynamic and coupled problems in geotechnical engineering. Available established analytical and numerical results are also provided for comparison purpose. The advantages and limitation of the different approaches are highlighted. The RITSS and EALE predict comparable results in all cases, demonstrating the robustness of both in-house codes. Employing implicit integration scheme, RITSS and EALE have stable convergence although their computational efficiency may be low for high-speed problems. The CEL is commercially available, but user expertise on element size, critical step time and critical velocity for quasi-static analysis is required. Additionally, mesh-independency is not satisfactorily achieved in the CEL analysis for the dynamic case.