Without wishing to sound demeaning, with the Move you are buying a rather narrow, somewhat frenetic box on wheels. In Move+ guise, it's quite a well-equipped box, but it's a car that have been designed with a set-sized road 'footprint' in mind and then designers have grappled with the task of getting as many people as possible into that box. The key is height. The Move can be driven wearing a top hat, or a jester's hat if that's more appropriate, and has a light and airy feel.
The body design looks like wheels and bonnet have been tacked on as an afterthought to the cabin, but the overall effect is cheeky and grin inducing. Despite their faults, it's not possible to stay angry with a Move for too long. It has an infectious personality that lets you forgive it for its narrow dimensions, plasticky cabin and roly-poly cornering. The equipment levels range from basic to reasonably surprising.
The basic Move models boast such luxuries as a rear wash wipe and adjustable head restraints, so the cabin ambience is hardly palatial. Having said that, there's more than a nod to safety and security, with a driver's airbag. Side impact protection and engine immobiliser all fitted as standard. Late model Moves also come with either air conditioning or an automatic gearbox as standard. How many other S registration cars come with this level of equipment for under £2,500? The Move+ benefited from colour-keyed bumpers, electric front windows, central locking and a quite baffling Pioneer face-off stereo system.
The Move is not known to have developed any significant faults during its existence. It will in all likelihood have transported children, so check the cabin for rips, stains and other damage wreaked by small hands. The luggage bays should also be examined for evidence of wear and tear by lifestyle equipment such as mountain bikes and dogs.
This model should have been exposed to a fair amount of city driving, so check the exterior for knocks and scrapes, and check under the bonnet for accident damage or paint overspray. Otherwise, the usual reminder to obtain a service history applies.
(Estimated prices) You wouldn't want to buy a bargain basement city car and discover parts prices that will require you to take up an evening job at the local burger bar. Daihatsu have responded, and spares costs for the Move are fairly reasonable given their low volume and specialised nature. A clutch assembly will cost around £130, and the dinky front brake pads approximately £40. A radiator will be in the region of £145, and an alternator £220. A broken starter motor will require £260 to replace.
When sticking to its design parameters - zipping through inner city traffic and into tight parking spaces - the Move makes all the sense in the world. Low speed cornering it can cope with, its sheer sides not proving a handicap at all. The tyres will screech around roundabouts and the tiny castor-like wheels will spin gamely from a standing start, but that all adds to the charm. The Move works remarkably well, however, taking one on a long motorway journey will have you struggling to ignite the will to live after maybe 45 minutes.
In long sweeping bends, the Move is buffeted by trucks, jittery over expansion joints and disheartened by long uphill stretches. Sitting in the inside lane with an artic inches from the back is not much fun. Brochure pictures of Moves with mountain bikes strapped on look tempting, but this implies a longer journey. You may well be happier strapping the car to the bike.
Be aware that the Move is probably best purchased as a second or third car. If you can accept the limitations, it's great fun and socially responsible short-range transport. If you need something a bit bigger, its bigger sibling (the Grand Move) or an older Renault Scenic may well beckon. Despite this, the Move is a clever, well-built car that while never hitting the mark in terms of new sales, make an interesting if slightly oddball used buy.