…there were a variety of types of vehicles made to transport passengers in use in the Regency era. A carriage is a horse-drawn four wheeled vehicle; a coach is a variety of carriage with four corner posts and a fixed roof. Private carriages generally required 2-4 horses and were expensive to buy and maintain. Wealthy gentleman might also contract for sporting vehicles such as a curricle, a speedy runabout pulled by two horses.
For ordinary folks—businessmen or professionals—a more practical choice (less expensive to purchase, maintain, and house) would be a simple, two-wheeled vehicle pulled by a single horse. There were several choices.
- A gig was a light, basic model designed to transport two people relatively short distances. It generally had a chair back for comfort would be sturdy rather than showy, and may or may not have a folding hood. Also called a chaise. A post-chaise however was a four wheel vehicle designed for speed over long distances
- A cabriolet would be slightly larger, perhaps with more padding, and room for a footman on back. It would always have a retractable hood. Sometimes used as a vehicle for hire in cities, it was cheaper than a four wheeled carriage. Later a hansom, a “cab” had a sprung seat behind for the drive could carry two to three passengers.
- A pony trap, a open vehicle with a low seat back was more basic. It generally carried two passengers, but was sometimes configured to carry four, with the front and back passengers sitting back to back.
Since everything in that era was custom made, there were no doubt dozens of variations. In The Defiant Daughter, the hero finds it amusing to take the duchess, my heroine, home in a pony cart. Eli Benson, hero of The Forgotten Daughter, drives a gig, which may tell you a lot about him.