For those of you contemplating buying a Polo, let me give you the benefit of my experience I bought this car with 40,000 km on the clock in 2000. It ran okay for the first few months, but around the six month mark things started going wrong.
First the clutch cable snapped. I managed to soyrce a second hand cable from a Volks wrecker and fitted it myself.
Then the hall sender went out (the car would cut off suddenly while approaching intersections, in the middle of the highway etc.). This was a particularly annoying and frustrating fault to diagnose apart from being bloody dangerous. It finally took a VW specialist to suggest that the hall sender in the distributor does go off in these cars. I took his advice and changed it myself and it ran well since.
Soon after, the thermostat housing cracked (a known fault in Polos) and the car overheated. Three months later the thermostat itself went kaput and had to be replaced.
The ignition components are a nightmare on these cars. The leads cost an arm and a leg and have to be replaced every year.
Other problems included needing new locks for the driver's door and a new throttle body as well.
When I finally sold the car, the gears were starting to play up.