ZnO varistors are multicomponent polycrystalline ceramics with highly nonlinear current-voltage characteristics and surge energy absorption capabilities. The voltage gradient of the ZnO varistor is inversely proportional to its average grain size. Recently, the rare-earth oxides have been reported as growth inhibitor of ZnO grains to obtain high voltage gradient. Although the dopant of rare-earth oxides can remarkably enhance the voltage gradients of varistor samples, their leakage currents and nonlinear coefficients deteriorate at the same time. In this paper, the sintering effects on electrical characteristics and admittance spectroscopies of ZnO varistor samples doped with yttrium oxides were investigated. Samples were fabricated under different sintering temperatures, including 1000 °C, 1100 °C, 1200 °C and 1300 °C. Then, the electrical characteristics and admittance spectroscopies of these varistor samples were measured. The measured current-voltage results behave special U-type curves related to sintering temperature. Furthermore, the admittance spectroscopy of these samples revealed the sintering effects on the intrinsic defects of ZnO varistors.