This article discusses the finite distance properties of three likelihood-based estimation strategies for GARCH processes with non-Gaussian conditional distributions : (1) the maximum likelihood approach ; (2) the Quasi maximum Likelihood approach ; (3) a multi-steps recursive estimation approach… (REC). We first run a Monte Carlo test which shows that the recursive method may be the most relevant approach for estimation purposes. We then turn to a sample of SP500 returns. We confirm that the REC estimates are statistically dominating the parameters estimated by the two other competing methods. Regardless of the selected model, REC estimates deliver the more stable results.