An extra weekday of commuting, the school run and other car use, courtesy of the leap year, will generate an additional £56.3 million in fuel duty revenue for the Government, says the AA.

It claims the figure represents more than 0.2% of the £27.3 billion the Treasury expected to raise from fuel duty receipts during the last financial year (2010-11). It also gives the Chancellor greater scope not to press ahead with the 3.02ppl increase in fuel duty scheduled for August 1, insists the AA.

“February 29 is a nice little earner for the Government, particularly when the leap year creates an extra working day,” says Edmund King, the AA’s president.

“Obviously, the extra day’s holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee will cancel out some of the tax-earning benefit of the extra Leap Year day, but the four-day break in June should encourage an extra Christmas or Easter-level getaway.

“That is unless stock market speculators have talked up Middle East threats, as they did last year, and pushed oil and fuel prices to a level that forces large numbers of drivers to stay at home and watch the celebrations on the telly.”