Yes, I think that vacuum cleaners were designed to be used inside. You would need a commercial grade one if you wanted to use it outside. My daughter uses a vacuum cleaner in her car, but it is not the stick vacuum that we use inside the house. There are different types of vacuum cleaners for different uses, but I am sure that when they were originally designed, they would have been invented to make house work easier. Nowadays, you can get them for a variety of uses.
I think it depends on the machine. Shop-vacs can be inside/ outside but a regular cleaner should mainly be used for indoor tasks I think. Then again I use mine for my car and minor dusty messes. Overall maybe it varies by user and how often you want to replace your vacuum.
I'm afraid I am a bit freaky about his . . . . my Dyson is not allowed outside . . . . I do that spot of vacuuming outside the door but she stays in. Himself wanted to vacuum the car out (it's a pigsty!) and I wouldn't let him take her outside onto the drive. I love the vacuum at the servo for $2. Brilliant.