In various editions of the Harry Potter books, films, and other promotional materials, different versions of the flying Ford Anglia's license plates have been shown.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, UK edition

HOW 777

cover of UK edition, showing "HOW..." on the license plate

The full license plate can be seen on the original drawing, as sold by Sotheby's.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, film

7990 TD

still from the film, showing "7990 TD" on the license plate


COS 207

Illustration from Pottermore, showing "COS 207" on the license plate

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, illustrated edition

HOW 782D

cover of illustrated edition, showing "HOW 782D" on the license plate

Besides for Pottermore, the rest don't seem obvious. What is the significance in the licence plates?

  • 2
    HOW7 reminds me of HOWL's Moving Car(stle)
    – M.M
    Jun 1, 2016 at 4:45
  • 1
    This is the DVLA vehicle check page vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk/ViewVehicle it confirms that 7990 TD is a Blue Ford Anglia first registered in 1960. Sorry meant to put this under @Adamant answer.
    – Sarriesfan
    Jul 21, 2018 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


Yes (for some of them)

  1. Seven is, of course, the most powerful magical number, and heavily associated with the Harry Potter books (of which, for example, there are seven). As such, 777 may be fairly obvious. I haven't been able to find any evidence as to what HOW means. It might stand for "House of Weasley," but that's simply a guess.
  2. This suggests that 7990 TD is the movie Ford Anglia's actual license plate, and that is registered under this number. According to this (perhaps dubious) source, the movie kept the original registration number of the Ford Anglia that they used.
  3. The Ford Anglia appears on page 207 of Chamber of Secrets (CoS), where it saves Harry and Ron from Aragog's progeny.

    Mr. Weasley’s car was thundering down the slope, headlights glaring, its horn screeching, knocking spiders aside; several were thrown onto their backs, their endless legs waving in the air. The car screeched to a halt in front of Harry and Ron and the doors flew open.

    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  4. There doesn't seem to be much information for this one. We see that 7+8+2 = 17, which is the age of students in their final year at Hogwarts, but there's no evidence that this is anything more than speculation.

  • there is a (dubious) source reporting an interview with Cliff Wright, the HP illustrator, who apparently said that HOW 777 was suggested by JKR herself: harrylatino.com/texto/noticias/4812/… .
    – A. Darwin
    Jun 1, 2016 at 5:48
  • 6
    Additionally, in number 3 (COS 207) Chamber of Secrets was book 2 of 7
    – bz032002
    Jun 1, 2016 at 13:10

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