I live in a large city and do not currently own a car. I use public transportation, ZipCar, Uber, and a bike to get everywhere I need within the city. For bigger trips outside the city, I have been renting a car on weekends here and there, but have been considering buying or leasing a car.
Does it make sense to buy/lease a car to only use it somewhat infrequently on the weekends? The way my math works out, I could buy a $20k car and sell it five years later for perhaps $10k, costing me $10k for the duration. Supposing a rental car is about $50/day, I could rent a car for 200 days for the same price (40 days/ year), and not have to worry about any maintenance, parking, insurance, or other issues related to ownership. I estimate I'd only really rent a car for around 20 days a year, putting me well below the break-even point. Even though short-term rentals are expensive in the long term, it doesn't seem worth it to buy/lease a car I'm never using on weekdays. Downsides to renting include the time needed to actually go rent the car, but I would expect this to about even out with needing to take an owned car to the shop, as well as moving it between on-street parking spaces to avoid street cleaning tickets.
Am I missing something in my reasoning? Is short-term rental a viable option for a scenario in which the car will be driven only on infrequent weekends?
UPDATE: For those wondering, I continued to rent a car for infrequent trips, which has been the more economical option, as I don't think I was even renting 20 days a year, which was half the break-even point. Additional upsides to not having a car included no worries about maintenance, parking, or registration/inspection, and an additional incentive to get on my bicycle more frequently. Getting the opportunity to drive several different types of cars from different rental agencies was also fun, and useful as a test drive for someone who would buy a car at some point. An unexpected upside was an incentive to get more creative with travel plans, which included taking a train to the base of Cape Cod, biking out to Provincetown, and taking a ferry home - I don't think I ever would have considered such a thing if I had a car, which would have just gotten me mired in awful Cape Cod traffic.