The new Manchester United boss asked the Professional Footballers' Association for financial assistance as, at the time, he had just taken over as Preston manager after a career in the lower leagues and simply did not have the resources for the expedition.
The PFA did help him out, yet the Scot still ended up sleeping in his car as he travelled across France.
It is a fascinating insight, given during an interview in Hong Kong, and helps underline why Sir Alex Ferguson had no doubt Moyes was the right man to succeed him when he stepped down as Manchester United manager in May.
"I wasn't earning enough at the time but I was given some funding," said Moyes.
"I hired a small car. In the end I drove round and had to sleep in the car a few nights.
"But I wanted to try and learn. I watched Craig Brown. I sat in the stand and watched him taking the sessions for Scotland. When I was younger I went to see AC Milan train.
"That is the kind of thing I did to try and find some more knowledge."
There is a story behind that AC Milan experience.
After defeat at Goodison Park in 2011, Carlo Ancelotti - Milan coach at the time of Moyes' visit - was unceremoniously sacked by Chelsea before he even got on the team bus to leave the ground.
"Carlo was in the corridor," recalled Moyes.
"I saw him and stood and talked to him. He said 'I have lost my job and David, I am going to come and watch you training now'.
"It showed me even he had recognised I had been at training at AC Milan at that time. I took what he said as a big compliment."
Much earlier, as a player at Dunfermline, Moyes used to drive into England on his day off to take in a game, all the while processing information about coaching and tactical methods that led him to spend 11 successful years at Everton before moving onto, arguably, the biggest club job in Europe.
"I was always thinking about being involved in football," said Moyes of those early days.
Moyes' ascent has been gradual.
"Mine had to be a long, slow progression and, hopefully, improvement," he said.
But to watch him set up, and then run a training session is to experience a man in an environment he adores.
The buzz is obvious, both to players and detached observers.
And that, for all the media and commercial demands of his role, is the core of Moyes' job and why the Scot should be given a chance to succeed at Old Trafford, rather than be leapt on at the first sign of trouble.
In an era when sackings occur as a matter of routine and Blackburn managed to go through four bosses in a single season, Gary Neville described Moyes' appointment as a "result for sanity".
"I hope there was a little bit of commonsense in the decision," said Moyes.
"Manchester United have always tended to choose slightly differently than other clubs. They always look for longevity and stability.
"They are not a club that chops and changes its manager regularly.
"For that reason, it was more pleasing when I got offered the job because you know they are a club that is looking for someone who tends to stay around for quite a while."
Yet such calmness is easy when your manager has been winning trophies for 26 years.
Moyes has no such safety net. He has officially been in charge less than a month. In the cases of Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia, he has not even met some of his players yet. There is over a month left until the transfer window closes.
Yet some United fans have shown their impatience already, questioning the lack of new arrivals ahead of a campaign that admittedly begins with those three blockbuster fixtures out of the first five
"If you win one game folk will think you are good. If you lose one folk will think you are rubbish," said Moyes.
"You hope there is a little bit of sense and people understand where you are going.
"It is a big job. It is a new job.
"It will take time, as it would for anybody else."
And, it is worth remembering, not even Ferguson got everyone he wanted.
Ronaldinho, Wesley Sneijder, Alan Shearer. All high-profile targets who never made it to Old Trafford.
And Moyes has the added difficulty of operating in an already congested market place which cash-rich French duo Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco have now muscled their way into.
"That is not something Manchester United are frightened of," said Moyes.
"Manchester United are more than happy to compete with all of the teams.
"There has been a change in the dynamic because of PSG coming on the scene recently. That has altered things.
"But Manchester United will always compete.
"One thing it has got is the history. It has got the name. It has got the success.
"That is a big pull for any player."