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38 Types of Vehicles (Mega Guide with Photos)

Plane, ship and truck next to one another.

In today’s world, it is impossible to imagine a life without modern means of transportation. However, in olden days, prior to the creation of motors and engines, mankind trotted the earth on foot! It was a norm to travel in large groups, and it usually took months, sometimes, even years, for a caravan to reach their destination. Surely, traveling was a trying endeavor back in those days!

Luckily, that’s not the case today. Nowadays, we have all sorts of means of transportation that we can use to go around our daily business, explore and travel the oceans, and even conquer the skies! Let’s take a look at some types of vehicles – while some of them are fairly common, others not so much!

Land Vehicles

Humans possess an innate need to travel and explore. Therefore, since the beginning of time, we are eager and determined to make traveling as comfortable as possible. Sometime around 4000BC, people started domesticating animals like horses and camels for transportation. Next, came the wheel! It won’t be wrong to say that the wheel is perhaps one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind. It led to the development of carts and chariots.

Not willing to settle for wooden wheels, we saw the advent of steam and coal engines in around the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that automobiles started appearing on the roads around the world. The rest, as we know, is history! Scroll down to read about types of land vehicles used around the globe.

Car

Headlights of various cars parked on an outdoor parking lot under a sunny sky.

Cars don’t need an introduction. According to an estimate, some 73.5 million cars were produced in 2017 alone! Cars first appeared in 1886 when German Inventor, Karl Benz patented his Benz Patent Motorwagen. Over the years, cars evolved and new features and functions are added. Today, cars are not only a source of transportation but also a fashion statement!

Consumer Trucks

A consumer truck parked on a gravel ground under cloudy skies.

There are many types of truck-style vehicles for consumers such as pickups, SUVs and Jeep-style vehicles.

Semi-Truck

Trucks pass by a road.

Vehicles are not just about traveling but also transporting cargo. Keeping this in mind, trucks/lorries are designed to transport goods. They come in different sizes, power, and configurations to meet different requirements of individual transporters.

Aerosani

Illustration of an Aerosani.

Aerosani is native to Russia. You can imagine it as a snowmobile. The only difference is that aerosani are propeller-driven. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that it is a propeller-driven snow machine that runs on skis! While, in Russia, it is used for mail deliveries, emergency rescue services, and for patrolling the border , a lot of people ride them for recreational purposes.

Golf Car

Golf cars parked near palm trees.

Riding a golf cart is almost as fun as playing golf itself! This small and appealing vehicle was developed to carry golfers and their golf clubs around the course or in desert terrains. They come in different styles and sizes and are usually used to carry around just a few people.

Bus / Coach

Children hopping into a school bus.

Do you ever miss catching the yellow school bus every morning to get to school? Riding these large vehicles that are designed to carry many passengers with friends can be a lot of fun! Keep in mind that while a bus and coach are essential the same, the only difference is that coaches are typically used for inter-city traveling while buses run around in particular metropolitan all day!

Tractor

A tractor on a green field.

More than traveling, tractors are used for construction and farming purposes. They are specially designed vehicles that are used to haul a trailer or some sort of machinery.

Sports Car

A sports car passing by a deserted road.

Famous for their speed and sleek exterior, sports cars are the fashion stars of the world of vehicles. While they are still just a type of car, most sports cars are expensive and designed for spirited performance. If speed is your thing, this is the car for you!

Motorcycle / Scooter

Side view of a rider driving a motorcycle.

Also known as a bike, motorbike, or scooter, a motorcycle is a two-wheeled vehicle having a motor or an engine. Keep in mind that motorcycle is a broad term that encompasses various makes, models, and styles. For example, it won’t be wrong to say that while a sports bike is the bad boy of motorcycles, scooters are the boy next door!

Unicycle

A juggler in makeup and costume performing on a unicycle.

A wheel with pedals and seat – that’s exactly what a unicycle is! Although it is not generally used for traveling but owing to the uniqueness of this vehicle, it is common to see professionals riding it in circuses, festivals, or while performing street arts.

Bicycle

Back view of a kid driving a bicycle on an empty biking lane.

Bicycles, also known as just cycles, were first introduced in Europe in the 19th century. The two-wheeled man-powered vehicle is perhaps one of the most popular vehicles in the world. Bicycles are not only a form of transportation but they are also a source of recreation. Some people also take up bicycling as a hobby or to stay in shape!

Tricycle

A young girl smiles while driving her tricycle.

As the name suggests, a tricycle is the three-wheeled cousin of bicycles. Also known as “trike”, the vehicle is man-powered and is abundantly used all across Asia and Africa for commercial purposes. However, in the west, it is primarily used for recreation and sometimes for exercising.

Kick Scooter

A young couple rides a kick scooter outdoors.

Don’t get confused by the name – kick scooter is nothing like a bike! It is a human-powered vehicle with handlebars and a deck that is propelled on 2 or 3 wheels. The rider stands on the deck and uses their foot to push the vehicle fowrads. Kick scooter is a mega-hit among children. Did you have one as a child?

Land Yacht

A rider in land yacht on a dirt road.

It may not be common to see a land yacht on the roads; however, they can be a lot of fun! The vehicle is basically a yacht with wheels attached at the bottom. It powered through wind and steered using a sail! It is mainly used for racing sports and works best in flat and windy areas like beaches and deserts.

Tank

A military tank under a gloomy sky.

Tanks are perhaps the most famous armored fighting vehicles. They were designed to fight in the front-lines in combat zones and were extensively used in the World Wars. With its powerful engines and deadly firepower, it is one dangerous vehicle!

Tilting Trike

Tilting Trike

As the name suggests, a tilting trike is a three-wheeled vehicle that tilts in the direction of the curve, every time you take a turn! Looks can be deceiving when it comes to titling trike. In other words, it is not as hard to ride it you may have imagined.  In fact, it can be quite fun!

Tram

Trams in a city stops to drop off and pick up passengers.

Trams are a public rail transport. However, they are shorter than trains. Today, most trams use electric power to run through cities, providing citizens with an easy transportation option.

Hoverboard

A young girl and boy riding hoverboards outdoor.

While in science fiction, a hoverboard actually hovers a few inches above the ground, unfortunately, in reality, it’s just a personal vehicle that consists of a platform over two wheels. The rider simply stands on the platform and steers the hoverboard by shifting their weight!

SUV

An SUV on a road with a backdrop of trees.

SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle. SUVs can be classified as a type of cars that are designed with off-road features like added ruggedness and ground clearance. Though SUVs were originally designed to be driven through rough and tough terrain, it is common to spot people driving them in the cities. In fact, it is a fairly popular family car!

Snowmobile

A rider crosses the snow through a snowmobile.

Traveling in snow presents a distinct set of challenges. However, snowmobiles have got us covered! These vehicles are specially designed to allow easy winter traveling. A lot of people enjoy riding it for recreational purposes as well.

Van

A van passes the road under a cloudy sky and a setting sun.

Van is a type of road vehicle that can be used for transporting goods and passengers. It is generally bigger and much more spacious than an ordinary car! Here’s a fun FYI fact about vans: There’s a special name for a police van used for carrying prisoners. It is called Maria Black!

Carts and Wagon

A wagon parked on a bucolic setting.

Wagons (aka carriage) and carts (aka chariots) are generally pulled by animals. The only difference between the two vehicles is that a wagon has four wheels while carts usually have only two.

Hand Car

A hand-powered railroad car parked on a railway.

It is a hand-powered railroad car. The passenger works with a seesaw styled arm, alternating pushing it down and pulling it up to move the handcar. The vehicle was originally used by the railway workers. Today, you can only find it at vintage railroad events.

Train

A red train passes a deserted train station.

A train can be described as a series of sections or trailers linked to each other. Sometimes, it is powered by a locomotive engine, which can be considered as a vehicle on its own!

Racing Cars

A racing car in motion.

Racing cars are specially designed for competing on the track for the first place. They are often confused with the sports car, even though they are a completely different species. From shape and size to purpose, they have nothing i

Campervan /Motorhome

A campervan parked in-between a jutted green land with a stunning view of the lake and mountains.

Campervans and motorhomes are designed to provide comfortable accommodation on the road. Basically, they are transports with self-contained living areas. However, they are slightly different. While motorhomes are built by remodeling trucks or buses, campervans are vans equipped with living quarters.

Rickshaw

An empty rickshaw parked on a side of the road.

Traditionally, a rickshaw is a human-powered vehicle. It consists of a cart that is pulled by a human runner as the passengers sit back in the cart. Eventually, it evolved into motor-rickshaw that is a three-wheeled covered vehicle, powered by a motor.

Water Vehicles

There’s no way we were going to stay restricted on the land! Over time, multiple watercraft were created and evolved that enabled us to ride the waves and travel to the depths of the ocean. Let’s take a look at some water vehicles.

Ship

A ship full of cargos crossing the ocean.

Ships are large watercrafts that are used to travel around the oceans. While ships offer a great way to transport goods and heavy cargo, cruise ships are also fairly famous as a source of recreation. No wonder, a lot of people spend vacations on a cruise!

Boat

People riding wooden boats on the ocean.

Boats are generally smaller than ships and can carry only a few passengers as compared to ships. Just like ships, boats are used for commercial purposes like transporting people and goods from one place to another but they are also widely used for recreation, especially motor boats!

Canoe / Kayak

Back view of a man paddling the kayak.

A canoe or kayak is a narrow vessel that is usually pointy at both ends and needs to be paddled by the passengers. Over time, canoeing has evolved into a water sport and has been part of the Olympics Games since 1936.

Sea Tractors

A sea tractor parked on a beachshore.

Sea tractors are designed to cross shallow waters. It carries multiple passengers on a platform that is elevated above the tractor-like chassis that submerges in the water. Sea tractors were fairly popular in the early 90s. However, nowadays, they are hardly used.

Yacht

Luxury yacht crossing the ocean.

Nothing says luxury like a yacht! Yachts are water vehicles that are specially designed for the purpose of sports and pleasure. Whether you want to spend a laidback peaceful day on the ocean or want to throw a raving party, a yacht is the perfect place to have fun in the ocean!

Submarine and Submersible

A submarine in the water.

Submarines and submersibles are water vessels that submerge completely in water, allowing the passengers to explore the world beneath the water. The slight difference between the two watercrafts is that submersibles enjoy limited underwater capabilities as compared to submarines. Both vehicles are equally famous with naval forces as well as among underwater researchers.

Aircrafts

Since the beginning of time, man has dreamt of being able to fly. Luckily, we live in an era where this dream is now a reality and a number of aircraft are available to help us conquer the skies. Aircraft are the vehicles that counter the effects of gravity, allowing the passengers to travel in the air. Scroll down to read about different kinds of aircraft.

Airplane

An airplane soaring to the clear blue sky.

Airplanes are the most commonly used commercial aircraft. According to an estimate, more or less 38.1 million flights operated around the world in 2018 only! While traveling by airplanes is still fairly expensive, there is no doubt that this aircraft has turned the world into a global village

Helicopter

A helicopter crossing passes above the city skyscrapers.

Have you ever had a helicopter ride? If not, you may want to add it on your bucket list because there’s nothing more stunning than admiring a beautiful landscape from a helicopter. In fact, nowadays, a lot of people own personal choppers!  Also, a number of vacation destinations offer helicopter rides; however, it can be a bit pricey. Other than that, helicopters are abundantly used by the armed forces, police, and emergency rescue services.

Hang Glider

A hang glider above clouds and at dusk.

Hang gliders can be considered as a man-powered aircraft. It consists of a light frame and a wing. The pilots foot-launch themselves in the air and steer the aircraft by shifting their weight. Today, hang gliding is a fun air sport that allows you to fly freely in the air.

Balloon

A pair of colorful hot air balloons pass by mountains and a river.

As a child, almost everyone is fascinated by the idea of sailing off in a basket held by a giant balloon! If you are still captivated by the idea of air balloons, it may be time for you to experience a hot air balloon ride. An air balloon is an unpowered aerostat that may or may not be tethered. Today, the prospect of experiencing a hot air balloon ride is a major tourist attraction for vacationers all around.

Jetpack

A man on a jetpack in mid-air.

Also known as a rocket belt and rocket pack, a jetpack can make you fly. Whether you root for Superman or are a fan of Iron Man, jetpacks can allow you to fly around just like your favorite superhero. It is worn on the back and uses gas or liquid jets to propel the wearer in the air. While most of the times, jetpacks are used to perform stunts, flying with them is readily emerging as a recreational activity.

 

There’s no doubt that all types of transports and vehicles have made our lives much easier and more enjoyable. Now that you know all about all about the different types of vehicles, you can choose the right mode of transport for your next trip! So, what are you going to do? Do you want to ride a unicycle?

Maybe you wish to invest in an SUV or planning a vacation on a cruise? Or perhaps, you want to cross an air balloon ride off your bucket list? With the variety of types of vehicles, there’s a lot you can do!

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