Although cold ischemia time has been widely studied in renal transplantation area, there is no consensus on its precise relationship with the transplantation outcomes. To study this, we sampled data from 3839 adult recipients of a first heart-beating deceased donor kidney transplanted between 2000 and 2011 within the French observational multicentric prospective DIVAT cohort. A Cox model was used to assess the relationship between cold ischemia time and death-censored graft survival or patient survival by using piecewise log-linear function. There was a significant proportional increase in the risk of graft failure for each additional hour of cold ischemia time (hazard ratio, 1.013). As an example, a patient who received a kidney with a cold ischemia time of 30 h presented a risk of graft failure near 40% higher than a patient with a cold ischemia time of 6 h. Moreover, we found that the risk of death also proportionally increased for each additional hour of cold ischemia time (hazard ratio, 1.018). Thus, every additional hour of cold ischemia time must be taken into account in order to increase graft and patient survival. These findings are of practical clinical interest, as cold ischemia time is among one of the main modifiable pre-transplantation risk factors that can be minimized by improved management of the peri-transplantation period.