Kidneys from old donors after cardiac death (DCD) may increase the donor pool but the prognosis of these kidneys is unsatisfactory. To improve these results, we retrospectively evaluated the diagnostic utility of published selection algorithms for old donor kidneys. We studied all DCD kidney transplantations between January 1, 1994 and July 1, 2005 at our institution (n = 199). Selection algorithms were evaluated in the subset of kidney transplantations from donors aged 60 years or older (n = 52). For histological assessment of kidney biopsies, glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis and vascular narrowing were blindly scored. Functional kidney weight was calculated as renal mass multiplied by the fraction of nonsclerosed glomeruli. Graft function and survival of kidneys from DCD aged 60 years or older were inferior to those from younger DCD. Histological scores were associated with kidney function and graft survival of old DCD kidney transplantations. Functional kidney weight was associated with kidney function but not graft survival, while donor glomerular filtration rate (GFR), donor age and machine perfusion characteristics were associated with neither of the clinical outcomes of interest. We conclude that histological assessment of preimplantation biopsies may improve the selection of kidneys from old DCD and may therefore contribute to expansion of the donor pool.