There is one fault with the previous answers by Dale Emery and Henry Taylor, and that is that the basic principles of sailing and combustion engines are a part of every school kid's education. And if something new is invented, as for example solar cells, it is extensively described and explained in popular media from newspapers to television.
Any educated person today understands that the air molecules press against the surface of the sails, and they also know that in a car some kind of fuel is burned and, burning, expands, thus somehow making parts in the engine move.
So if we lived in a future where space travel was common, we would all have learned the basics in physics at school, and even if we had not completely understood the finer details or forgotten much of it as adults, we would still always know and understand the very basic principles of space travel.
Therefore, if you want to write space travel SF, you have to be very careful to not make it appear like you are skirting around what would be a normal part of the traveller's experience, observations, and communication.
A novel taking place on an air plane might not mention any aspects of its propulsion system, but the propulsion system dictates the airport infrastructure (runway, not landing pad), the behavior of the vessel (circle above the air port and providing a view), the price of travelling (who can or cannot travel by plane and how often), and so on, so whatever you write in relation to space travel is in fact informed by your assumptions about the drive technology.
What I dislike and would not personally do is invent "hollow" names that have no concept to fill it. For example, I would not let my passengers "marvel at the ship's hyperspace-flux-capacitor", because invariably the lack of meaning will become apparent. The reader will not know what a capacitator does or what flux is, and the empty words will not make the reader feel the same involvement and satisfaction as if he read about sails flapping in the wind.
What I would do is work out a basic concept. It does not have to be technically feasible, because I'm not writing hard SF, but SF adventure. From this core concept I would develop some guiding principles (travel times, cost, availability, density, port placement, etc.) and with these guiding principles adapt current transportation (like air or ground travel) to my future.
Of course these guiding principles are not necessary, but because they limit what is possible in my fictional world, they will make the events that take place there more palpable and believable. And that is what writing is about. If the world and the events appear random, if everything is possible, then the story becomes boring and irrelevant. Obstacles and solutions have to be plausible and comprehensible to drive a story on, and travel is both an obstacle and a solution in a story, not just a backdrop whose exact form does not matter.
Despite these objections, I find the basic idea behind the other answers to be excellent (and have upvoted them both). You don't have to be a physicist to believably write about driving a car, and in fact the details of how fuel burns would distract from the story and bore the reader. Just make sure that if you want to let your protagonist rob the next gas station, the cars of your world actually burn fuel – and are not driven by inexhaustible solar power.