A line-to-line beam contact formulation in the framework of the absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) is introduced in this paper. Higher- and lower-order ANCF beam elements employ the introduced beam contact formulation. The higher- and lower-order ANCF beam elements are compared in terms of their accuracy and performance in a large deformation contact problem. Efficiency of numerical integration of contact energy variation contribution to the system’s equations of motion is studied. The contacting elements’ surfaces of the ANCF beam elements are parameterized by segmentation of integration over the contact patch. Numerical results investigate the accuracy, robustness and efficiency of the developed line-to-line contact formulation by comparing against a solid element type using commercial finite element code. According to the numerical results, the higher-order ANCF beam element’s solution is closer than the lower-order ANCF beam element’s in accordance with the reference solution provided by a solid element type using commercial finite element code ABAQUS. Furthermore, the higher-order beam element is found to be more efficient than the lower-order beam with respect to the numerical integration of the contact energy variation. Expectedly, the higher-order ANCF beam element is able to capture the cross-section deformation in a large deformation contact problem, while the lower-order element fails to exhibit such cross-sectional deformation.