Kinetics of the reaction of IO radicals with methanol (MeOH) and ethanol (EtOH) were experimentally studied in the gas phase using pulsed laser photolysis–cavity ring-down spectroscopy (PLP-CRDS). IO radicals were produced in situ at the reaction zone by photolysing a mixture of precursors (CH3I + O3 + N2) at 248 nm and thereby electronically excited at 445.04 nm. The rate coefficients for the reactions of (IO + MeOH) and (IO + EtOH) were measured at a total pressure of 60 Torr/N2 in the range of 258–360 K. At room temperature, the experimental rate coefficients of the title reactions were measured to be kExperimentIO+MeOH(298K)=(2.45±0.44)×10−14 and kExperimentIO+EtOH(298K)=(2.07±0.38)×10−13cm3molecule−1s−1. Dependencies of the kinetics with photolysis laser fluence and experimental pressures were verified. Effects of pressure over the kinetic behaviour of the studied systems were observed to be insignificant within the statistical uncertainties when studied in the range of ~ 30–150 Torr/N2, whereas a minor and linear fluence dependency was observed within the studied limit. From the measured kinetic parameters, the atmospheric lifetimes of MeOH and EtOH were calculated in the tropospherically relevant conditions regarding their reactions with important atmospheric oxidants like Cl atom, OH and IO radicals. To complement experimental results, kinetics and thermochemistry for the title reactions were investigated theoretically via canonical variational transition state (CVT) theory in combination with small curvature tunnelling (SCT) corrections with a dual-level Interpolated Single Point Energy (ISPE) approach at the CCSD(T)/def2-QZVPP//M06-2X/def2-TZVPP level of theory/basis set in the temperatures between 200 and 400 K. Good degree of agreement was encountered between experimentally measured and theoretically calculated rate coefficients. This article also discusses the thermochemical parameters and kinetic branching ratios (BRs) of all the pathways involved in the title reactions.