Otherwise every clip would just be another four minutes of poorly-dressed post-teens - or prepubescents these days, given the Justin Beiber trend. Most of the time the prop ploy doesn't work. But there are clips in which the car not only adds to the song but sometimes threatens to steal the starring role.
Here are our picks for the best, but if you think we've missed one that should be included, please, comment below.
1. Gorillaz - Stylo
The latest stand-out song from Damon Albarn's shifting ensemble, animated by the only other permanent member, Tank Girl creator Jamie Hewlett. In a scene that will look familiar to those who saw Aussie horror flick, Wolf Creek, Gorillaz band members in a bullet-riddled Chevrolet Camaro are chased down by a trigger-happy Bruce Willis in a Chevrolet El Camino.
2. The Cardigans - Losing My Favourite Game
Exhilarating crash-derby filmed over three days in the Mojave Desert to accompany the velvet-dark vocals of Nina Persson. The reckless driving resulted in five different edited versions to meet censorship rules around the world. Self-harm was never so enticing.
3. Triffids - Wide Open Road
Seminal track, not so much about the car but about the great Aussie landscape they're driving through. The band's late frontman David McComb wrote that it evoked the stretch of WA between Caiguna and Norseman, where the Triffids' Hi-Ace came to grief with kangaroos.
4. Audioslave - Show Me How to Live
Billet steel anthem with band on the run across the desert in a 1970s Dodge Challenger - and using clips cut from the movie Vanishing Point - saluted by Cleavon Little as a small-town radio jock: "the question is not when they're gonna stop, but who is gonna stop em."
5. ZZ Top - Gimme Me All Your Lovin'
Not the Bearded Ones' best piece, but the best use of Billy Gibbons' 1933 Ford Roadster, the Eliminator. And given that Gibbons is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and a custom car expert, it was always going to make this list.
6. Audio Bullys - Only Man
Monochrome face-off with a pair of duelling Porsche 911s in a weed-littered vacant lot. A second video was later done by Madonna's favourite director, and the track became a Cornetto ad. We vote for the original.
7. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
A Ford LTD is perfectly mated with bad 70s clothes, detective show clichés and of course the mandatory 'taches. Beastie Boys proving once again why the rap industry couldn't have survived without them.
8 and 8.5. Puretones - Addicted to Bass
The original video was shot in an audio store in Essendon, with installers fitting high-end gear into a Ford EF-EL Falcon and Holden VR Commodore. The second video was a Mad Max-inspired production that helped the song rocket up overseas charts, and featured a Plymouth Hemi Cuda and Chevrolet Camaro shot in Victoria's You Yangs. We can't decide which we like better, so they both get a slot.
9. Golden Earrring - Radar Love
Give the megahit's racing beat and urgent lyrics, it seems strange that the video focused on a Reliant Robin - until you think about the skill it must have taken to get the little three-wheeled oddity to handle this well.
10. Jamiroquai - Cosmic Girl
Cheesy acid jazz hit, but made notable by the video of a Ferrari F355 Berlinetta and F40 (the latter piloted by the owner, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason) and Lamborghini Diablo SE30 cruising through Spain. It was supposed to be Jay Kay's Diablo, but the delivery wrangler totalled the $239,000 car before shooting, so a replacement was rented. Just another excuse for the singer and his mates to horse around in their supercars. As you would.